MFS Africa; a South African fintech startup, has announced the closure of a series B funding round led by Chinese VC firm, LUN Partners Group. The latest funding follows as an extension to a previous investment round worth USD 4.5 Mn which the company reportedly closed earlier this year. The development brings the SA based company’s Series B funding to a total of USD 14 Mn.
Amsterdam-based investment firm, Goodwell Investments, is a known shareholder in the mobile payments services provider. The Dutch firm is believed to have also participated in the follow-up round, alongside ShoreCap III (an LP managed by US-based Equator Capital Partners), and FSD Africa; a UK-based investment firm.
Founded in 2009 by Dare Okoudjou who also holds the company reins as CEO, MFS Africa prides itself as one of the best gateways for sending money to mobile wallets in Africa. The company is focussed on developing and distributing tailored yet scalable mobile financial solutions to underserved markets across Africa. The startup claims to provide accessible, affordable, and inclusive alternatives for remittance/money transfers, micro-lending, micro-insurance, micro-savings, and making payments.
MFS Africa is known to have received investment in April this year from the China-based investor for an undisclosed amount of equity. In much the same manner, both parties have remained coy over the equity details of the deal. Notwithstanding, the latest investment from LUN Partners Group is expected to help MFS Africa connect better with the opportunities and financial services players available in Asia.
More so, by adding on partners in the mold of Equator Capital Partners and FSD Africa, MFS Africa will be looking to leverage the connections and networks of these firms in an effort to reach deeper into global and regional markets. The fintech company will also be looking to benefit from the wealth of experience and policymaker engagement which those parties will be expected to bring to the table.
In a statement, Peilung Li, Founder and Chairman of LUN Partners Group, expressed delight at the partnership with MFS Africa while reiterating that it will do a solid to cross-border trade, as well as open the floodgates for further investments from Chinese firms and other global partners into African enterprises.
Wim van der Beek, Managing Partner at Goodwell Investments reckoned that the investment in MFS Africa is in sync with the Dutch firm’s investment strategy for its uMunthu Fund. This fund is believed to target companies that are making significant strides in the area of building infrastructure through that can allow for better and affordable financial services can be made available to large numbers of customers that are underserved or altogether neglected by the formal financial services sector.
On his part, the MFS Africa Chief opined that the expansion of the company’s network has placed it in a better position as a full-range service provider for digital payments in Africa. He hinted at his belief in the ability of the investment to see the company provide financial services to many more individuals that are excluded from traditional banking spaces. He also expressed conviction in the ability of the company’s continued network growth to boost its impact, as well as help bring its vision of continent-wide financial inclusion to fruition.
Image Courtesy: MFS Africa Website