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African payments company and second Unicorn, Interswitch has secured a $110 million joint investment from LeapFrog Investments and Tana Africa Capital. The announcement was made by the two private investment firms on Wednesday, 11th May. The investment is for Interswitch to scale its digital payment services across Africa.

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The two private investment firms confirmed this investment in a statement. Also, Interswitch Group CEO, Mitchell Elegbe, confirmed this, saying that the company was “excited to welcome LeapFrog and Tana on board, as we continue our work to advance the future of the African payments landscape”. This latest investment news is coming almost three years since Interswitch’s last disclosed funding round. In this last round, Visa paid $200 million for a 20% stake in the company. Then Interswitch was valued at $1 billion (its last known valuation up till now).

Interswitch is one of Africa’s prominent electronic payments and infrastructure companies. Fintech powers most of Nigeria’s online banking system.

In addition, it is well known for its point-of-sale terminals, online consumer payment platforms, Quickteller, and Verve, the biggest domestic debit card scheme in Africa (issuing over 35 million active cards since its launch).

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The private investment companies plan to work with Interswitch and its management to continue to drive expansion into all African markets. This expansion includes acquiring new customers and building new products to support a financial inclusion strategy.

What they are saying

Karima Ola, LeapFrog Investments partner and head of Africa financial services, in a statement announcing the investment, said:

“Interswitch, a pioneer in the African payments ecosystem, has been disrupting the cash economy, driving digital payments and promoting equitable financial inclusion in Nigeria for two decades. This investment by LeapFrog affirms the formidable talent at Interswitch and how well-placed it is to seize the significant opportunity in Africa’s evolving digital payments landscape.”

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Likewise, Mark Tindall, Managing Director, and CEO, Tana Africa said:
“Interswitch has developed a strong position at the nexus of Nigeria’s payments ecosystem, underpinned by an offering which is primed for continued growth. The business’ evolution is a testament to management’s track record and tenacity. Alongside LeapFrog, we look forward to supporting Interswitch’s next chapter through continued product innovation and growth across the African continent.”

Also recall that In 2016, Interswitch announced its intention to go public for the first time by dual-listing on the London and Nigeria stock exchanges. Subsequent reports of the 20-year-old fintech listing on a major exchange surfaced in 2019. However, that plan seems to have been discarded following its investment from Visa. 

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This article was first published on 20th May 2022


I am an accomplished content creator and recently delved into technical writing. I enjoy using my skills to contribute to the exciting technological advances and create awareness of evolving technological trends in Nigeria.

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