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Fintech

Accelerex Holdings Secures $20m Investment From Africa Capital Alliance

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Accelerex Holdings has announced that it has signed an investment agreement with regional private equity firm, Africa Capital Alliance (ACA), for the Capital Alliance Private Equity IV (CAPE IV) fund to invest $20 million in Accelerex.

With this investment, CAPE IV will become a strategic partner in Accelerex and will hold three seats on the company’s board.

Accelerex, which is the parent Company of African Fintech powerhouse, Global Accelerex Limited, was set up for investment into digital financial technology companies across Africa.

Global Accelerex was incorporated in 2008 and commenced payments services operation in October 2013 upon obtaining approval from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

The company consistently ranked as the Number 1 Payment Terminal Service Provider in Nigeria in 2018 and 2019 and supports 95% of Nigerian banks and over 90,000 Merchants across the 36 states in the country.

Accelerex commenced operations in Ghana in 2019 and plans to expand into Cote d’Ivoire, Kenya, Tanzania and South Africa over the next 24 months with the new investment from ACA.

This funding will also drive new product development across the group.

The agency banking arm of Accelerex, Accelerex Network Limited (ANL) is a major driver of financial inclusion in Nigeria.

It supports the Federal Government of Nigeria and the CBN’s financial inclusion agenda, targeted at the underserved and unserved segments of the population.

Accelerex Network Limited has grown its Agent network to over 9,000 agents within the last 12 months and plans to reach 40,000 agents by the end of 2021.

In addition, Accelerex also acquired a majority stake in SLS Microfinance Bank to serve the financial needs of its fast-growing agent banking business.

In 2019, Accelerex acquired a significant minority stake in Connected Analytics (also known as ThankUCash), a Fintech platform provider that enables merchants to offer loyalty rewards to their customers thereby boosting their sales.

Tunde Ogungbade, CEO of Global Accelerex, said “I am very excited by the ACA investment. In our quest for the right investment and strategic partner, we were looking for a company that shares our vision to empower businesses in Sub-Saharan Africa to exceed all their customers’ payment expectations.

“This partnership will help Accelerex to aggressively expand into Africa and accelerate product development. I see our vision becoming a reality with this move.”

Paul Kokoricha, Partner at ACA, stated that with the huge potential of Fintechs in Africa, good funding and strong expertise are crucial to scalability.

“Accelerex’s strong business model and its agile and dynamic management team make it the ideal African Fintech group to back. We are thrilled about this alliance and are happy to bring our experience to the board.”

Accelerex Holdings continuously develops and deploys convenient, secure and innovative financial and non-financial solutions that make life easier.

ACA is a leading pan-African investment firm, sponsoring funds and managing investments in Sub-Saharan Africa

Founded in 1997, ACA has an over 23-year history of investing across multiple market cycles, through five private equity and real estate funds.

Its international structure and strong local expertise enable it to raise funds from investors across the globe for investment in specific sectors in Sub-Saharan Africa.

CAPE IV is a $567m fund established by ACA to invest in companies with strong fundamentals and a growth track record in the financial services; technology, media and telecoms; FMCG; energy and various emerging sectors in West Africa.

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Facebook And Google Eye Indian Digital Payment Network

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Facebook and Google are teaming up with Indian firms, Infibeam and Reliance Industries on an application to set up a national digital payment network in the South Asian country, according to the Economic Times.

The Reserve Bank of India has invited companies to create new umbrella entities (NUEs) that build payments networks that offer an alternative to the bank-owned not-for-profit National Payments Council of India.

Citing sources, the Economic Times says that Google, Facebook, conglomerate Reliance and fintech firm Infibeam are at an advanced stage in submitting their plan to the central bank.

Google and Facebook (through WhatsApp) are already significant players in the fast-growing Indian digital payments market.

Another American giant, Amazon, is rumoured to have teamed up with ICICI Bank to explore its own NUE play. The Reserve Bank is expected to award two licences.

 

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MoneyGram Suspends Ripple Pact Over SEC Suit

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MoneyGram has suspended trading on Ripple’s platform over concerns about the latter’s litigation with the Securities and Exchange Commission, according to a Finextra report.

In 2019, Ripple agreed to invest up to $50 million in MoneyGram as part of a two-year partnership that has seen the old-school money transfer player tap the blockchain startup’s XRP digital currency for cross-border payment and foreign exchange settlement.

Ripple has effectively been paying MoneyGram to use its on-demand liquidity service, with the money transfer outfit seeing a “net expense benefit” of $12.1 million from Ripple market development fees in the first quarter of 2020.

However, late last year the SEC filed a regulatory lawsuit against Ripple Labs Inc. and two of its executives, alleging that they “raised over $1.3 billion through an unregistered, ongoing digital asset securities offering.”

The complaint mentions the MoneyGram arrangement, although not the company by name, saying: “The Money Transmitter became yet another conduit for Ripple’s unregistered XRP sales into the market, with Ripple receiving the added benefit that it could tout its inorganic XRP ‘use’ and trading volume for XRP.”

Reporting its fourth-quarter results, MoneyGram now says: “The Company is not planning for any benefit from Ripple market development fees in the first quarter. Due to the uncertainty concerning their ongoing litigation with the SEC, the Company has suspended trading on Ripple’s platform.”

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Opera Prepares For Roll Out Of Fintech Banking Service

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Opera, an Internet company is moving into financial services with the launch of Dify, an in-browser cashback service and digital wallet for online shopping.

Launching first in Spain, the initial version of the Dify app ships with a current account, a free virtual debit card issued by MasterCard, as well as Google Pay support for offline spending.

The company intends to expand the service across the EU, where it currently claims 50 million active users.

The business developments that preceded the launch included the January 2020 acquisition of Estonian banking-as-a-service startup, Pocosys and takeover terms for the buyout of Lithuanian digital bank Fjord Bank.

“The total size of Opera’s investment into Dify is expected to exceed $100 million over the next few years, given we scale as expected,” says spokesperson Krystian Kolondra, EVP browsers & EEA fintech at Opera.

“This includes acquisitions, development cost and our marketing and distribution plans.”

The first version of the Dify app will allow consumers to receive eCommerce cashback for purchases made on partner websites accessed through the Opera browser.

Partner brands, which include Nike, Sephora and Asos, will appear in a new shopping-related tab on the Opera browser.

Says Kolondra: “Every day millions of people shop online and make their payments using the Opera browsers. With Dify, we are making the browser and a superior wallet work better, together, to improve users’ shopping experience and also make it financially rewarding.”

In the future, Opera’s plans include offering more wallet services like savings management, credit, investment opportunities and instant cashback.

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