African Payments Company, Cellulant Hits $105 million Valuation
Kenyan payments company, Cellulant may be worth over $100 million, according to information from its regulatory filings with the government.
Nigerian central bank considers allowing mobile money services to transfer cash. With 162 million active lines among Nigeria's four mobile operators, it could more than double the financial inclusion rate to 80 percent by 2020.https://t.co/8Mn7KKDSPC— Cellulant (@Cellulant) January 11, 2019
In 2018, Cellulant raised $47.5 million in a funding round led by TPG’s the Rise Fund. The new funding is crucial to the growth and expansion plans of the over 14 year old fintech. In return for the funds, it had to give an undisclosed number of equity.
Now, however, mandatory regulatory filings to reflect this change in shares ownership provide more understanding on how much equity was ceded and finally provides a valuation hint for the company.
According to the documents, Cellulant actually gave up 44.04% worth of equity to the investors following the deal in May 2018. That gives the company a nominal valuation of about $105 million.
This valuation means the Kenyan payments provider is worth more than many companies currently listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchange.
While financial technology firm, Cellulant was the biggest raise for FinTech firms in Africa, they occupied the fifth position, when looked at as a whole.— Benjamindada.com (@dadabenblog) January 11, 2019
Valuation speculation of tech startup in Africa is not a very common thing. For one, most companies rarely disclose how much equity they gave up in return for funding while others never disclose how much they raised at all.
Although Cellulant is way too old to be called a startup, its valuation will provide further guidance for investors to determine just how much they should bid for startups operating in financial services.
Founded in 2004 by Nigeria’s Bolaji Akinboro and Kenyan Kennedy Njorge, Cellulant is one of the earliest fintech companies in Africa.
The company provides financial services to Africa’s unbanked population and has also developed a financial ecosystem for the agricultural sector. In countries like Nigeria and Liberia, Cellulant’s payments system is used to disburse funds and financial services to over 15.3 million farmers. The company operates in several African countries, particularly Anglophone Africa.
However, the company bootstrapped for a long time and only began receiving external funding in 2011, beginning with a $1.5 million investment. It has since gone on to raise over $50 million in three financing rounds.
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