MFS Africa, an African fintech, acquires US-based Global Technology Partners, to enable it to issue prepaid cards to clients. This deal is proof of the growth that the fintech space in Africa has recorded in recent times, and its potential for more robust growth.
As first reported by FT, the Pan-African fintech company, MFS Africa is making the acquisition in a cash-and-shares deal of over $34 million, marking what is a very rare phenomenon in the ecosystem. While acquisitions within the African startup ecosystem have continued to increase, very few have seen an African tech company acquiring a US-based one.
With way over 320 million mobile money wallets across Africa, MFS Africa sees this acquisition of Global Technology Partners as a necessary step in its growth trajectory. This acquisition is to enable Africans to pay with ease on foreign subscription-based services, using their mobile money accounts. According to Dare Okoudjou, Founder and Chief Executive of MFS Africa,
“It’s mostly for international e-commerce platforms, which are not able or willing to create the user experience that will accept mobile”. He had also highlighted the earlier deal with Spotify in which its customers in Kenya, Uganda, and South Africa would be offered ease of making payments on the streaming platform.
MFS Africa was founded in 2009, by Dare Okoudjou, a Beninese national, and has grown to become one of Africa’s largest fintech companies, linking banks, telecom companies, and money transfer companies through its unique application program interface.
Global Technology Partners (GTP), according to Crunchbase, specializes in creating innovative processing and payment solutions for the prepaid industry. GTP is also visa certified in the CEMEA region (Central Europe, Middle East, and Africa), and is focused primarily on the African market. Through this acquisition, MFS Africa intends to issue prepaid cards to its customers to facilitate these online transactions.
GTP has clients across 34 countries and works with over 80 banks including UBA, Ecobank, Stanbic, and Zenith. While GTP prepaid cards were in use by over 500,000 clients within these countries, its potential could grow to well over that amount, with the size of the mobile money users in Africa.
Speaking on the deal, Robert Merrick, Founder, and Chair of GTP, said:
MFS Africa is an ideal home for GTP, and we are focused on adding new features and functionalities to our platform . . . and making a significant contribution to growing MFS Africa’s business.
Prior to this announcement, MFS Africa had raised over $100 million in equity and debt, as well as, made very strategic acquisitions to drive its expansion goals. The fintech company had earlier acquired Baxi, an agent banking platform, making it a major node of MFS’ payment network in Nigeria. However, this is the first time that the fintech company is leveraging expansion to the US, a feat that other fintech companies are keen on as well.