Port Louis, Mauritius – 30 October 2018 – MFS Africa, a leading Pan-African fintech company, today announced the second close of its Series B funding round led by LUN Partners Group, a Shanghai-based global investment management group. Existing shareholder Goodwell Investments – an Amsterdam-based investment firm focused on inclusive growth, fintech and financial inclusion – also joins LUN Partners Group in investing additional capital into the fintech and mobile payments services provider. ShoreCap III, LP managed by US-based Equator Capital Partners and UK-based FSD Africa joined the round as new investors, signalling global confidence in MFS Africa’s model, and bringing this total round of funding to USD $14 million.
One of the benefits of the investment from LUN Partners Group is the ability to connect MFS Africa with opportunities and financial services players in Asia - expanding the footprint of the African fintech into a similarly dynamic, fragmented, and fast-growing payments space. Furthermore, a partnership with Equator Capital Partners and FSD Africa will offer MFS Africa deeper links to global and regional financial institutions as well as strong experience in regulator and policymaker engagement.
The investment will also provide MFS Africa with access to additional markets to broaden its reach in providing cross-border, cross-currency, and cross-network solutions to merchants, mobile network operators, and money transfer companies. Among other assets, these new partners will also bring expertise and resources to help reinforce MFS Africa’s financial inclusion mission.
Sub-Saharan Africa is recognised globally as a centre of innovation in payments and financial services delivery, and there is growing worldwide interest in Africa’s fintech developments and innovation leadership. Speaking on the investment, Founder and Chairman of LUN Partners Group, Peilung Li, says that the partnership with MFS Africa will enable a boost in cross-border trade, and open new opportunities for Chinese firms and other partners globally to connect to the African continent.
“We’re excited to have reached this stage with MFS Africa and as we’ve strengthened our relationship, we’re also seeing the massive opportunities for collaboration across our portfolio and network. There are already several collaborative initiatives in the pipeline. With MFS Africa’s experience and reliability in execution, they will surely convert these initiatives into truly valuable products and services for their business partners and customers worldwide.”
Discussing the additional investment into MFS Africa, Goodwell Investments founder and Managing Partner, Wim van der Beek, says “MFS Africa perfectly fits the investment strategy of our uMunthu fund – which is to invest in companies that are building the infrastructure through which large numbers of underserved customers can access more affordable and better financial services.”
“MFS Africa is well placed to reduce the average cost of cross-border transfers into and within Africa. With the projected volumes, this will significantly reduce remittance costs for millions of underserved clients,” van der Beek adds.
Franklin Kennedy, Managing Director of Equator Capital Partners says, “We are pleased to announce our investment in MFS Africa. MFS Africa is well positioned to scale and deliver mobile-based financial services that are vital to tens of millions of underbanked clients in Africa. Led by seasoned mobile money technology specialists, MFS Africa has great potential to further connect consumers and small businesses, and to facilitate cross-border remittance and trade transactions within Africa.”
Mark Napier, Director, FSD Africa, says “FSD Africa, backed by the UK government, is very committed to doing what is possible to make it easier and less costly for people to send money - both into Africa but also within Africa. Access to payments services is a core building block for inclusive finance and economic growth. We are therefore pleased to support MFS Africa which has great potential to bring significant efficiencies to the remittances market in Africa, extend the reach of remittance services and improve customer value.”
Founder and CEO of MFS Africa, Dare Okoudjou, says that the growth of the MFS Africa network has positioned the company as a full-range provider for digital payments in Africa – effectively opening financial services to those who were previously excluded from traditional banking spaces, and offering simpler, relevant and safer alternatives for those who want to transact and do business in Africa.
“This network growth means that we will continue to increase our impact and drive our mission of financial inclusion across the continent. We’ll also further strengthen our use cases and our position as a trusted digital payments network that is safe, secure, and reliable for the African and global markets.”
“The continent remains a prime destination for investment in the fintech sector, as there are enormous opportunities for financial inclusion and economic participation by consumers and businesses un- or under-served by traditional banking structures. We regard the swift follow-on investments by LUN Partners Group and Goodwell as a testament to our performance and unique potential, and we are particularly excited to welcome Equator Capital Partners and FSD Africa as shareholders. As we expand the business to reach new regions and offer new use cases, these partners will offer invaluable strategic support and guidance,” Okoudjou adds.
About LUN Partners Group
LUN Partners Group is a global investment management group that operates multiple investment vehicles, including venture capital and private equity funds. The company also operates financial services firms that provide wealth management and financial advisory services.
LUN Partners and its funds primarily invest in cutting edge, rapidly growing high-tech innovations overseas. Their distinctive approach is to help multiple portfolio companies navigate their entry into the Chinese market and collectively create an ecosystem of complementary businesses.
Find out more at: http://lunpartners.com/
About Goodwell Investments
Goodwell Investments is a pioneering investment firm focused on financial inclusion, fintech and inclusive growth in sectors providing basic goods and services and income generation opportunities to the underserved.
Since 2006, Goodwell has raised three funds with over $120m in capital. Goodwell has invested equity in financial services and technology companies in India and Africa, operating in sectors ranging from classical microfinance to mobile payments, rural banking, and affordable housing finance to merchant payment networks and public transport technology.
Goodwell’s 25 portfolio companies have reached over 28 million households with more than $2.1 billion in financial products and services, and employ over 32,500 employees. African portfolio companies in the fintech field include Paga (Nigeria), Nomanini (South Africa), and Musoni Systems (pan-African), and in mobility tech WhereIsMyTransport (pan-African).
Find out more at: http://goodwell.nl/
About Equator Capital Partners LLC
Equator Capital Partners LLC’s ShoreCap International (2003 – 2014), and ShoreCap II Limited (2009 – present) are pioneering investment funds focused on inclusive finance and capacity building. Equator’s team has a history of broad engagement with its portfolio companies, including support for credit policies and procedures, new product introductions, equity and debt fundraising, good governance, IT and system support, as well building environmental and social awareness.
Dedicated to inclusive finance in Africa, ShoreCap III will continue Equator’s partnership with forward-looking African management teams to invest in situations where there is a demonstrable market and social development opportunity.
About FSD Africa
Created in 2012, FSD Africa is a £30 million financial sector development (‘FSD’) programme funded by the UK government and based in Nairobi, Kenya. FSD Africa aims to reduce poverty across sub-Saharan Africa by building financial markets that are efficient, robust and inclusive.
FSD Africa is a market facilitator and catalyst. It applies a combination of resources, expertise and research to address financial market failures and deliver a lasting impact. FSD Africa has a mandate to work across sub-Saharan Africa on issues that relate to both ‘financial inclusion’ and ‘finance for growth.’
Find out more at: http://www.fsdafrica.org/