An unlikely founder-funder equilibrium

Building And Dealing: The Tricky Rise Of The African Tech ‘Founder-Funder’

By  |  August 10, 2021

It’s the year 2015 and Founder duo, Shola Akinlade and Ezra Olubi, are still getting the hang of making a tech startup work. At the time, their company, Paystack, was a fledgling creation borne out of some tinkering with a credit card, a computer, and some code.

As the story goes in his own words, once Akinlade found out what his credit card could do with a computer, he showed it to Osita “Oo” Nwoye, a friend and well-known provider of startup advisory services.

Upon seeing the demonstration, an excited Oo let out the following words: “Yo, guy. This is a company. This is Stripe.” Oo was to eventually play a key role in preaching Paystack to some of the individuals that became the startup’s earliest investors, way before the now-robust Nigerian payments company took off.

Five years and USD 200 Mn later, it so happened that Paystack went beyond building a “Stripe for Africa” to literally become “Stripe, for Africa” following the landmark acquisition that got Africa’s tech scene buzzing last October.

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