LeapFrog Investments (“LeapFrog”) and Tana Africa Capital (“Tana”), a strategic investment was announced in Interswitch, one of Africa’s leading technology-driven companies focused on digitization of payments. The investment will assist in supporting the company’s drive to advance the payment ecosystem across the continent. Ignite Holdco Limited is the largest shareholder of the business after the transaction. It has also been acquired from existing shareholders. Helios Investment Partners as well as TA Associates are the other shareholders.
Alongside existing investors, LeapFrog and Tana will work with management to continue to drive Interswitch’s pan-African strategy, as it looks to access new customers across the continent, innovate with new products and services, and support its financial inclusion strategy.
Founded in 2002 by entrepreneur Mitchell Elegbe, Interswitch disrupted Nigeria’s traditional cash-driven payments system, introducing electronic payments processing and switching services to the market. Interswitch currently operates two brands: Verve, a debit-card scheme that is available in Africa, and Quickteller which is a multichannel platform for consumer and business payments.
Interswitch, which has 948 employees in Africa, is managed by an experienced team. They are committed to being responsible businesses that focus on employee wellbeing and talent development. Interswitch has a gender-balanced culture. Women make up 40% of its employees in Africa and 38% of its management team.
Karima Ola is a Partner and Head of Africa Financial Services at LeapFrog Investments.: “Interswitch, a pioneer in African payments ecosystem, has been disrupting the cash economy, driving digital payments and promoting equitable financial inclusion in Nigeria for two decades. This investment by LeapFrog affirms the formidable talent at Interswitch, and how well-placed it is to seize the significant opportunity in Africa’s evolving digital payments landscape. LeapFrog is proud to be partnering with Interswitch to further enhance their innovative, digital capabilities to deliver sustainable scale, whilst positively impacting the lives of millions of people and businesses across the region.”
Tana Africa CEO Mark Tindall said it.: “Interswitch has developed a strong position at the nexus of Nigeria’s payments ecosystem, underpinned by an offering which is primed for continued growth. The business’ evolution is testament to management’s track record and tenacity. Alongside LeapFrog, we look forward to supporting Interswitch’s next chapter through continued product innovation and growth across the African continent.”
Mitchell Elegbe, founder and chief executive group of Interswitch stated: “We are excited to welcome LeapFrog and Tana on board, as we continue our work to advance the future of the African payments landscape. The need to address the challenges and barriers in the traditional financial system has driven the evolution of fintech in Nigeria, and elsewhere in sub-Saharan Africa. Interswitch was born from the need to develop solutions that match the unique needs of local customers and merchants.”