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Pan-African integrated payment, processing and transaction switching company, Interswitch, has announced it has made an initial investment of US$850 000 in Africa Courier Express (ACE), formerly A-Post a company started by Tunde Kehinde the founding Managing Director of Nigeria’s ecommerce giant Jumia.
Based in Nigeria and focused on the entire African continent, ACE is a technology driven ecommerce logistics and warehousing firm. It has developed and introduced a new cutting-edge technology to track, deliver and collect payments seamlessly for and on-behalf of its clients.
A statement by Interswitch revealed it is making an initial investment of US$850 000 through its ePayment Growth Fund. The investment will make it possible for the management of ACE to expand across West Africa they could also receive additional funding.
Interswitch said this investment is representing the beginning of a new partnership model to deepen the ecommerce space across Africa.
The US$850 000 investment is part of a US$10-million ePayment Growth Fund that would serve as a catalyst for funding innovation and disruptive business concepts within the payment industry across Africa.
“Interswitch is seeking to collaborate with African entrepreneurs and startup businesses developing innovative products and services that empower Africans to participate in the emerging payment ecosystems currently transforming business on the continent,” the company stated.
Kehinde co-founded ACE with Ercin Eksin and the company is currently offering third-party logistics, tracking and pay-on-delivery (cash and electronic) services for retail businesses in Nigeria. Already, the company has distribution hubs in five Nigerian cities – Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Ibadan and Abeokuta; it has shipped to about 100 000 customers.
Mitchell Elegbe, group managing director, Interswitch, said: “Interswitch is committed to encouraging innovative ideas and developing startups across Africa. We created the US$10-million e-payment growth fund to do just that, and it is with great excitement that today we can announce our first investment. ACE is exactly the sort of business we want to support: dynamic, energetic and dedicated to breaking barriers for e-commerce in the African market.”
Tunde Kehinde and Ercin Eksin, founders of ACE, said: “We are delighted and very proud to be selected as the first investment from the Interswitch ePayment Growth Fund. This new capital provided through our new partnership with Interswitch, and which is part of a larger US$2.6-million funding, will enable us to accelerate our expansion through Nigeria and beyond into West Africa.”
Kehinde officially left Jumia as managing director in January 2014.
Image by EP Technology via Flickr