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Tencent leads $48m Ozow Series B funding round

Storied South African fintech company Ozow attracted TenCent, Endeavor Catalyst and Endeavor Harvest Fund in a series B funding round that totaled $48 million. The Endeavor Catalyst committee approval was chaired by co-founder and former executive chairman of LinkedIn Reid Hoffman, which is another vote of confidence in the company’s focus on developing innovative payment solutions that help create more financial inclusion.

Ozow in cementing its position as one of the leading payment providers on the continent

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Ozow has seen 100% year-on-year growth since its 2019 series A funding round. This latest fundraising will support its efforts to transform the banking ecosystem and create greater financial access for the underbanked, along with growth plans and regional expansion in Africa.

This rapid scaling has culminated in processing over $100m in monthly transactions 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.

Payment solutions include QR codes, point of sale, eCommerce, e-billing, peer-to-peer payments, and the company has been focused on creating more accessible ways for South Africa’s 47 million bank account holders to transact more conveniently.

“It’s an honour to bring on board Tencent, Endeavor Catalyst and Endeavor Harvest Fund,” says Ozow CEO and co-founder Thomas Pays in a media statement. “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.”

Crowded segment

Ozow’s latest funding round is yet another similar announcement in the digital payments space but Pays sounds confident that the company will continue to lead the crowded segment.

“Over the last few years, we’ve have seen a rapid adoption of digital payments. While this is still very much at its infancy, the shift to a contactless payment ecosystem has been incredibly valuable in helping to accelerate the de-cashing of the economy,” Pays explains to VentureBurn.

“As the leading payments provider in South Africa, we continue to play a crucial role in ensuring that people can easily use each new digital payment solution or system that is created. This includes supporting the development of South Africa’s Rapid Payment Programme (RPP), which is set to change how people transact in the future.”

It’s prime market position gives Ozow an important voice in the policymaking room and Pays assures that the company is fully supportive of the South African Reserve Bank’s Vision 2025 to improve access for the 47 million bank account holders in South Africa. Ozow is also working closely with all industry stakeholders to remain at the development forefront of new payment solutions.

“We’re continuing to innovate by creating new payment solutions to meet the changing needs of both businesses and consumers alike,” he says. “With every new product or service that we develop, we’re committed to ensuring that they simplify people’s lives by making payments even easier, quicker, and more secure.”

Read more: JUMO raises $120m from Fidelity and Visa in bumper funding round

Featured image supplied by Ozow

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