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After closing a $8 million series A funding round, the Côte d’Ivoire-based fintech start-up Bizao is on the fast-track to becoming Africa’s leading payment hub. The latest round was led by key investors, including AfricInvest, Adelie, and Seedstars Africa Ventures.
Since 2019, Bizao has extended its footprint to over 10 African countries, boasting 30 partnerships with telecom operators, banks, and mobile money service providers. This geographical coverage has enabled Bizao’s team to build, over time, a unique payment hub which allows businesses in West and Central Africa to accept credit cards payments along with mobile money and airtime as payment means.
“We have spent the last few years working closely with our partners to improve our products and services in line with our customer requirements,” says Aurélien Delort-Duval, founder and chief executive of Bizao.
“Thanks to this close collaboration with industry players, we have multiplied the transaction volumes processed by our platform by almost 20 over the past 12 months. This round of financing will enable us to design new product lines for high-potential vertically integrated organisations, expand in new markets and grow the team across all our offices.”
Now providing a coverage of 200 million end-customers, Bizao already supports around 100 companies in the digital transformation of their online and in-store payment transactions. It processes over 350 million payment requests per month.
With the latest funding secured, Delort-Duval says the start-up will scale the commercialisation of its payment hub and expand its operations to new countries. The new investors strengthen its governance while consolidating its research and development strategy aimed at designing innovative payment products and services to address the needs identified across news business lines.
Bizao offers world-class traceability
The technology used by Bizao ensures end-to-end transactions traceability and is hence, up to the latest standards of banking and finance regulation to prevent fraud and money laundering. This, ultimately, enables Bizao to deepen its relationship with its partners.
Omar Bekkali, a partner at AfricInvest, says, “Through our equity investments in financial institutions including banks, insurance companies and high potential fintechs, we support the acceleration of universal access to financial services. Our investment in Bizao is in line with this high-impact strategy aiming to support financial inclusion in Africa.”
“It is the future of financial services that is orchestrating itself in Africa; mobile money has enabled more than 60% of the population on the continent to finally have access to basic financial services,” adds Jean-Manuel Costa, managing partner at Adelie.
“The penetration rate of mobile on the continent is close to 100% and we are witnessing a growth in the use of credit cards. We are convinced that a platform combining all these payment methods has an exceptional growth potential.”
According to Tamim El Zein, partner at Seedstars Africa Ventures, Africa is the ultimate continent for mobile payments, already boasting more than 600 million mobile money accounts.
“Yet 90% of transactions are still settled in cash,” says Zein. “Bizao tackles a major societal issue and can help unlock African trade potential. To achieve this goal, Bizao leverages its payment Hub which is one of the most technically robust. In addition, Bizao’s African internationalisation strategy matches that of the companies we support.”