South African payments company Ozow has attracted Tencent, a world-leading internet and technology company, in its $48 million or R747 million Series B funding round.
The investment round also includes Endeavor Catalyst and Endeavor Harvest Fund.
Notably, Endeavor Catalyst’s investment committee approval was chaired by partner of Greylock, and co-founder and former executive chairman of LinkedIn, Reid Hoffman.
The latest fundraising will support Ozow’s efforts to transform the banking ecosystem and create greater financial access for the underbanked. It will also assist Ozow in cementing its position as one of the leading payment providers on the continent.
Ozow has become synonymous with enabling millions of merchants and consumers with easy, fast and secure alternative payment solutions.
From QR codes, point of sale, eCommerce, e-billing, peer-to-peer payments, and everything in between, the company has been focused on creating more accessible ways for South Africa’s 47 million bank account holders to transact more conveniently. The company works with major retailers, including MTN, Vodacom, the Shoprite Group, Takealot, and Uber.
Thomas Pays, CEO and co-founder of Ozow, says that he is excited about the partnerships that have been formed with its new investors.
“It’s an honour to bring on board Tencent, Endeavor Catalyst and Endeavor Harvest Fund. This is a validation of our role in transforming the banking industry through the development of innovative, convenient, and more inclusive payment solutions for everyone.”
Since Ozow’s series A funding round held in June 2019, the company has seen a 100% year-on-year growth of its business.
Ozow has scaled rapidly to process over $100 million or R1.5 billion in transaction volumes monthly across a network of thousands of merchants. The company continues to see an increased growth in its user base, with more than 120 000 users joining the platform each month.
Pays says that the Series B funding round will enable the company’s growth plans and regional expansion in Africa.
“We’re also heavily focused on expanding our product offering. This will largely be driven through the development of new products, as well as a strong focus on strategic investments that include mergers and acquisitions.”
Ozow has been hard at work to level the playing field. Central to this is a mission to grow open banking in the industry, which has been recognised for its ability in fostering innovation, driving the development of new financial services, and improving competition.
“Our mission has always been to develop innovative payment solutions that enable millions of businesses and consumers to participate in our growing digital economy. We’re excited about this next step in our journey, as it will mean that we will be able to impact so many more lives across the continent,” says Pays