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Investment One buys stake in Paycode to expand Africa’s footprint

Investment One, one of Nigeria’s financial services providers, through its Venture Capital subsidiary, Investment One Vencap Limited, has announced buying a stake in Paycode, a rapidly growing fintech business focused on financial inclusion across Africa and the frontier markets.

South African-based Paycode is a provider of technology solutions that use biometric digital identity to guarantee proof of life and enable low-cost, last mile delivery of basic financial services.

Paycode addresses three critical problems for the unbanked and underserved by providing low-cost solutions to those without formal identification in areas with little or no mobile or internet connectivity.

The fintech firm enables access to basic financial services including cash pay-outs, mobile money, remittances, insurance, microloans, airtime, electricity and social grants by providing a platform that combines biometric digital identity and payments in one convenient platform.

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Paycode CEO, Ralph Pecker commented, “We see Investment One as so much more than just an equity partner to Paycode. Investment One is a significant and innovative player in the financial services sector of Nigeria, a key growth market for us. We believe that having them onboard will greatly accelerate our expansion objectives in Nigeria, and that we in turn can provide an excellent return on their investment.”

Investment One was particularly attracted by the technological USPs of Paycode, a valuation that focused on current revenues and users while reasonably discounting cashflows (in an environment where fintech valuations have noticeably sky-rocketed during 2021) and the scope for growth in Nigeria through projects already won.

Investment One analysed Paycode’s future growth trajectory in Nigeria alone to draw conclusions about its relative value. Currently, most of Paycode’s active users are in Ghana, Zambia and Mozambique but the pipeline in larger countries, such as Nigeria and the DRC, is a key growth-driver.

“Our investment in Paycode represents both our drive to achieve excellent returns for our clients, but also our commitment to bringing financial services to excluded sectors in Nigeria. Paycode’s unique approach to solving the most complex challenges of the financially excluded fits perfectly with our own innovative DNA” said Investment One Group Managing Director, Nicholas Nyamali.

With over 6 million card users registered, a partnership with Mastercard and a strong pipeline of fee-driven grant and social programmes under its belt, Paycode plans a Series a capital raise in the first Quarter of 2022.

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