What started as fun for Akinlade, who built a quick way of integrating a card transaction into a web page, metamorphized into Paystack, and has been bought by Stripe of California USA for $200 million.
Paystack is a technology company solving payments problems for ambitious businesses, with a mission is to help businesses in Africa become profitable, envied, and loved. The company provides a quick way to integrate payments services into an online or offline transaction by way of an API.
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Paystack currently has around 60,000 customers, including small businesses, larger corporates, fintechs, educational institutions and online betting companies, and the plan will be for it to continue operating independently, the companies said.
Stripe is a technology company that builds economic infrastructure for the internet. Businesses of every size, use its software to accept payments and manage their businesses online.
Earlier this year, Stripe announced that it had picked up another $600 million in funding, it said one big reason for the funding was to expand its API-based payments services into more geographies. Today the company is coming good on that plan by its acquisition of Paystack.
Terms of the deal are not being disclosed, but sources close to it confirm that it’s over $200 million. That makes this the biggest startup acquisition to date to come out of Nigeria, as well as Stripe’s biggest acquisition to date anywhere.
“The African internet economy is expanding quickly, with online commerce in the region growing 21% year-over-year, 75% faster than the global average,” Stripe said in a statement. “In order to help increase Africa’s online GDP, Stripe has entered into an agreement to acquire Paystack.”
The Silicon Valley firm is unlisted but valued at $36 billion, according to investor website PitchBook.
Paystack will continue to operate independently and Stripe will over time embed it into its global payments and treasury network, a programmable platform for global money movement that currently spans 42 countries, Stripe said.
Paystack was set up in 2016 by two Nigerian computer science graduates, Shola Akinlade and Ezra Olubi, who received early stage funding in Silicon Valley’s Y-Combinator programme.
For Paystack, the deal will give the company a lot more fuel (that is, investment) to build out further in Nigeria and expand to other markets, CEO Shola Akinlade said in an interview.
“Paystack was not for sale when Stripe approached us,” said Akinlade, who co-founded the company with Ezra Olubi (who is the CTO). “For us, it’s about the mission. I’m driven by the mission to accelerate payments on the continent, and I am convinced that Stripe will help us get there faster. It is a very natural move.”
Paystack had been on Stripe’s radar for some time prior to acquiring it. Like its U.S. counterpart, the Nigerian startup went through Y Combinator — that was in 2016, and it was actually the first-ever startup out of Nigeria to get into the world-famous incubator. Then, in 2018, Stripe led an $8 million funding round for Paystack, with others participating, including Visa and Tencent.
By; Nnamdi M.