MFS Africa has signed an agreement to acquire Baxi’s parent company, Capricorn Digital for an undisclosed amount. Capricorn is one of Nigeria’s largest digital solutions and distribution companies.
Capricorn Digital focuses on products and services that can be digitized. It works with merchants to create the most efficient and effective means of distributing those products and services, thereby reducing time to market and driving sales.
Capricorn Digital, through its platform Baxi, gives users access to a broad range of products that solve everyday payment needs. This includes utility bill payments, airtime purchases, data subscriptions, withdrawals and money transfers.
Capricorn Founder and CEO, Degbola Abudu told Techcabal that the deal, which is subject to approval from the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, will become the second-highest fintech acquisition in Nigeria to date behind the $200 million Stripe paid for Paystack last year.
With this acquisition, Capricorn Digital, one of Nigeria’s largest digital solutions and distribution companies with a 90,000-strong agent network across the country, will become even larger. It will become a more versatile company that fuses MFS Africa’s interoperability between money operators and a super-agent network reaching the mass market.
MFS Africa was founded in 2009 by Dare Okoudjou, a Beninese national. The company is the largest fintech interoperability hub in Africa connecting banks, telcos, and money transfer operators across over 35 countries via a single Application Program Interface (API).
Paga, MTN mobile money, Ecobank, and Safaricom are among the operators integrated on the hub. There are an estimated 320 million mobile money customers interacting across various digital wallets without transaction fees associated with switching platforms.
Speaking on the acquisition, Degbola Abudu expressed his excitement and what they hoped to achieve with the acquisition.
“We’re thrilled to partner with the MFS Africa team to expand our service offering for individuals and SMEs. We believe that we’ve barely scratched the market’s potential. Only 3% of Nigerian SMEs have access to credit products. By teaming up with MFS Africa, and with the strong support of our local commercial banking partners, we can offer more value-added products and services, such as cross-border payments, to support Nigerian SMEs in their growth.”Degbola Abudu, Baxi CEO
Nigeria-born Degbola Abudu started Capricorn in 2014, with Folu Majekodunmi. Its flagship platform, Baxi has already processed over USD 1 Billion in transactions this year. Baxi has four product offerings with the goal of being an online ecosystem of payments services; a one-stop-shop for everything payments.
BaxiBox/PoS is an android device that enables users to pay bills, make withdrawals and transfer money to Nigeria. Coupled with the Baxi MPoS Device is the Baxi mobile application that provides PoS services for merchants and businesses.
The Baxi mobile application helps business owners keep track of all payments processed. This is a unique feature different from other current means of PoS payments. BaxiPay is an online product used to perform payment transactions.
BaxiRIMS is specifically built for SMEs and retail merchants. The product grants them complete control over their procedures from purchase monitoring, down to inventory management, and can be customized depending on what the business owner wants.
MFS Africa plans to engage with Nigeria’s central bank and other regulators to seek any other additional licenses needed to operate its full-service offerings—such as remittance, micro-lending, insurance—while also exploring commercial partnerships in the country.
Featured image credit: Techcabal
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