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Stripe acquires African payments startup Paystack in €180m deal

Stripe is to acquire the Nigerian-based payments company, Paystack.

he company declined to give an acquisition figure, but understands that it will be in excess of €180m.

The move is Stripe’s first major global acquisition, although it acquired the Irish startup Touchtech last year.

The company, founded by Limerick brothers Patrick and John Collison, raised more than €510m in funding earlier this year at a valuation of almost €30.75bn. At the time, executives said that the cash was being raised for increased product development, global expansion and “strategic initiatives”.

Paystack is only two years old and was founded by Shola Akinlade (CEO) and Ezra Olubi (CTO). It currently processes more than half of all online transactions in Nigeria and has 60,000 customers in Nigeria and Ghana, with pilot plans for the South African market. In 2018, Stripe led Paystack’s €6.9m Series A funding round. The company will remain operating independently with over 100 employees continuing in their current roles.

“In just five years, Paystack has done what many companies could not achieve in decades,” said Matt Henderson, Stripe’s business lead in EMEA.

“Their tech-first approach, values, and ambition greatly align with our own. This acquisition will give Paystack resources to develop new products, support more businesses and consolidate the hyper-fragmented African payments market. We simply can’t wait to see what they will build next and how their growth can turbocharge the African tech ecosystem.”

Online commerce in Africa grew 21pc in the last year, faster than the global average.

“There is enormous opportunity,” Patrick Collison, Stripe’s co-founder and CEO, told online tech site TechCrunch today. “In absolute numbers, Africa may be smaller right now than other regions, but online commerce will grow about 30pc every year. And even with wider global declines, online shoppers are growing twice as fast. Stripe thinks on a longer time horizon than others because we are an infrastructure company. We are thinking of what the world will look like in 2040-2050.”

However, he said that the move shouldn’t read as the first in a number of major acquisitions to come.

Stripe is frequently linked with a potential IPO, given its size and value. However, co-founder John Collison recently dampened speculation about an imminent flotation when he said that the company’s hiring of new chief financial officer Dhivya Suryadevara did not mean Stripe was preparing for an IPO.

“Paystack is a growth engine for modern businesses in Africa, and we couldn’t be more excited to join forces with Stripe, whose mission and values are so aligned with ours, to nurture transformative businesses on the continent,” said Shola Akinlade, CEO and co-founder of Paystack.

“We believe deeply that with the right tools, African creators, developers, and entrepreneurs can do incredible things. Leveraging Stripe’s resources and deep expertise, we’re excited to accelerate our geographic expansion and introduce more payment channels, more value-added services, and deeper integrations with global platforms.”

Online Editors

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