Nigerian Fintech OneFi Acquires Payment Solutions Provider Amplify

By  |  March 21, 2019

Lagos-based fin-tech company One Finance Limited (OneFi) has acquired Amplified Payments Limited (Amplify), a company that builds and facilitates payment solutions and digital financial transactions.

Following the acquisition, OneFi will boost its financial services offering since the it is adding Amplify’s assets, tradements and flagship products, AmplifyPay and mTransfers, to its portfolio. The deal took effect on 1st March 2019. The cost of the deal is undisclosed.

Amplify, founded in June 2015 by co-founders Segun Adeyemi and Maxwell Obi, has quickly grown to be a force to reckon with in the investment sector. The company currently supports over 1,000 merchants and facilitating digital transactions for four of the country’s top banks.

Among the company’s core products are AmplifyPay – a payment gateway specializing in recurring transactions and mTransfers – a keyboard banking solution that enables consumers to conduct bill and P2P payments in any chat app.

As a result of the acquisition, Amplify co-founder and CTO, Maxwell Obi, will join the OneFi team to oversee the payments direction of the company, whilst co-founder and CEO, Segun Adeyemi, will depart as he pursues new ventures.

While giving his sentiments regarding the acquisition and his new role, Maxwell says, “The key factor which stood out in our decision to work with OneFi was that we saw them as an extension of our vision. We stepped into this industry to use our payment solutions to facilitate a growing economy, and OneFi’s focus on financial inclusion feeds well into this. It’s a real example of a collaborative effort, and I’m excited to see the next chapter of our development.”

Chijioke Dozie, OneFi Founder and CEO, adds, “Today’s announcement signals OneFi’s first acquisition; a strategic decision that kicks off our transformation from a digital lender to a diverse digital financial services platform focused on transactions, payments and loans and will ensure we meet our ambitious goal of doubling our size in Nigeria this year. We have long respected the Amplify team for their ability to provide innovative solutions under adverse conditions, and we look forward to blending our expertise to power the future of fintech infrastructure and digital payments in Africa.”

Amplify secured their first investment from MEST Africa, the Pan-African incubator, training program and seed fund, in 2016, when Adeyemi and Obi graduated from the program and the company officially launched. Amplify is the 5th MEST Africa company to be acquired and the first in the fin-tech space.

MEST Managing Director, Aaron Fu, concludes, “Seeing Amplify exit to such an established and well-known player in Nigeria’s fin-tech sector is a really significant moment in MEST Africa’s 11-year history. Watching Segun and Maxwell develop Amplify into a market leader in just three years has been thrilling to see, and we expect to see many more African tech start-ups take this route to market. Our hope is that the Amplify journey will be an inspiration to thousands of entrepreneurs in the making.”

Amplify, unlike other similar companies, has committed to payments on social media platforms “We liked that and thought payments on social was something we wanted to offer to our customers,” OneFi CEO Dozie said.

The move by OneFi to acquire Amplify comes hardly a month since OneFi raised a USD 5 Mn debt facility for its consumer-facing platform, Paylater. The financial injection came from New York and Nairobi-based Lendable, a technology-enabled funding provider to African consumer and SME lenders. Paylater was launched in 2016 to provide hassle-free loans without the need for human intervention or bias in decision making.

Conjointly, these initiatives reflects a turn for OneFi towards becoming an online consumer finance platform other than just digital lender.

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