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SA payments gateway, Ozow, raises $48,000,000 Series B led by Tencent

Ozow plans on utilising a fraction of the funds for mergers and acquisitions, as well as pan-African expansion to four countries including Namibia, Ghana, Nigeria and Kenya, in the next six months.

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Thomas Pays, founder and CEO, Ozow
Thomas Pays, founder and CEO, Ozow

Digital payments gateway, Ozow, has raised $48,000,000 Series B funding to accelerate its drive in making payments easier, more convenient and secure for millions of merchants and consumers.

Ozow plans on utilising a fraction of the funds for mergers and acquisitions, as well as pan-African expansion to four countries including Namibia, Ghana, Nigeria and Kenya, in the next six months.

The round was led by Tencent, with participation from investors such as Endeavor Catalyst and Endeavor Harvest Fund.

Ozow was founded by Thomas Pays in 2014 to drive financial inclusion through open banking. The idea was to automate the manual EFT process consumers use to pay across e-commerce, point-of-sale, e-billing or P2P methods, with an ultimate goal of making the processes seamless for consumers to make payments in three clicks.

The company allows users to access their internet banking platform when they make transactions online.

Ozow is free for individual users and merchants can use the payments gateway for free in the first 12 months, or up to $65,000 in processing value per month.

The company makes its profit by charging a percentage fee varying between 1.5-2.5% for every successful transaction made by distributors, payment service providers and resellers of its product via Ozow.

In 2019, the payments platform raised a Series A funding of $2,500,000 and has commendably seen a 100% year-on-year growth of its business. The company processes over $100,000,000 in transaction volume per month across thousands of merchants.

Ozow raised $1,200,000 in angel and seed rounds between 2016 to 2017. Prior to the current round, the company had total funding of $3,700,000. Today, this has been increased to $51,700,000.

Included in Ozow’s plan is the creation of an instant payment ecosystem where users can make real-time payments using simple identifiers, such as mobile numbers or email addresses.

The company also plans to expand its team from 100 to 250 and hire employees in its new European office.

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​Joan Aimuengheuwa is a content writer who takes keen interest in the scopes of innovation among African startups. She thrives at meeting targets and expectations. Contact: [email protected]

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