BitPesa nabs $2.5m for pan-African digital payments

Pan-African digital currency payments startup BitPesa has secured $2.5m in a Series A round to expand across the UK, Europe and West and Southern Africa.

The investment was led by US-based Draper VC with participation form Greycroft Partners as well as existing backers Digital Currency Group, Pantera Capital Management, Blockchain Capital, Zephyr Acorn, FuturePerfectVC, Colle Capital and BnkToTheFuture.

BitPesa’s payments platform aims to offer individuals and businesses a means to make payments to and from sub-Saharan Africa.

The startup accepts digital currency and provides users with fiat currencies in return directly to their mobile phones.

Founded in Nairobi, Kenya in 2013 the company now operates across Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, the DRC, the UK and Senegal.

Last year it also launched an API platform to facilitate settlements and best pricing between African and Chinese banks.

The round brings BitPesa’s total funding to $6m with it previously raising an undisclosed round fromblockchain infrastructure firm Bitfury in February 2016.

BitPesa’s CEO Elizabeth Rossiello said: “we are delighted to welcome our new shareholders, all who have a deep knowledge of our key markets and an expertise in the payment sector.

“We work in unique markets with huge untapped opportunities for the right teams and shareholders that can execute on a vision.

“Our new shareholders share our vision and are able to add value to our team in our current and expansion markets.”

The firm’s new investor Alan Patricof from Greycroft said: “The unusual energy and talent of Elizabeth Rossiello incleading BitPesa, with her objective of breaking through all barriers being put before the company, coupled with the huge market potential for local payments in Africa, make this a compelling opportunity for us.”

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