Kenya’s BitPesa announces it’s rebranded, secured $15m in debt finance


Nairobi-based fintech BitPesa announced today that it had rebranded to become AZA Group and had secured $15-million in debt financing from South Africa’s the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA).

In a statement today, AZA Group said it had become the new parent company of brands BitPesa, TransferZero and BFX.

“We have just rebranded our motherbrand from BitPesa to AZA, and now BitPesa is a product nestled into the group,” Stephany Zoo, BitPesa’s head of marketing, branding, and communications told Ventureburn in an email today.

AZA Group is now the new parent company of brands BitPesa, TransferZero and BFX

Spanish international money transfer service TransferZero — which AZA Group (then named BitPesa) acquired in February last year for undisclosed amount (see this story) — provides both wholesale currency purchase and retail settlement.

This, while BFX is an over-the-counter platform developed by the group for businesses with wholesale currency needs, especially those paying partners and suppliers.

BitPesa, which was founded in 2013 by American Elizabeth Rossiello (pictured above) and later joined by co-founder and fellow American Charlene Chen, offers businesses wholesale access to digital currencies, mainly bitcoin.

AZA Group said in the statement that with the financing, AZA will continue its growth deeper across the region into new markets in the Middle East, Northern, and Southern Africa, increasing its liquidity and servicing larger clients.

It said since inception of its first company BitPesa in 2013, AZA Group has seen $1-billion in volume transacted in, out, and across Africa.

It said with the acquisition of TransferZero and launch of its B2B product BFX, transaction growth has grown 300%.

The AZA Group, it said, has grown so aggressively that the firm has expanded their host of products, customising services for distinct customer segments.

The firm claims it is the only non-bank provider of both wholesale foreign exchange and distribution across the African region, and has gained on geography through increased bank accounts, mobile money, and other payment options.

Said Rossiello: “We’re solving a continent-wide challenge of a lack of financial infrastructure available for growing businesses — and we are doing it using a unique combination of financial and technological tools with a modern operational approach”.

With a team of over 100 people, AZA’s team is led from regional HQ offices in Lagos, London, and Nairobi with growing satellite teams in Dakar, Madrid, Accra, Kampala and soon Johannesburg.

According to Crunchbase the company has now raised $30-million in funding over six rounds (including their latest round announced today).

Read more: Here’s why Kenyan startup BitPesa bought Spanish remittance platform

Featured image: AZA Group co-founder Elizabeth Rossiello (Supplied)



Sign up to our newsletter to get the latest in digital insights. sign up

Welcome to Ventureburn

Sign up to our newsletter to get the latest in digital insights.