AZA Group collects $15m to support growth in Africa

AZA Group, which is the parent company of FinTechs BitPesa, TransferZero and BFX, has collected $15m in debt financing from The Development Bank of Southern Africa.

The capital will be put towards its move into new markets in the Middle East, and Northern and Southern Africa. It will also increase its liquidity and serve larger clients.

Its first company was BitPesa which it founded in 2013. Since then it has seen $1bn volume transacted in, out, and across Africa. BitPesa is a digital foreign exchange and payment platform which utilises blockchain technology for quick transactions in Africa.

The company has since acquired financial API developer TransferZero and cross-border payments company BFX.

AZA founder and CEO Elizabeth Rossiello said, “We’re here to be an integral part of how Africa is accelerating its growth. The potential for frontier markets continues to increase and becomes more globally relevant. 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.

“The dollarization of Africa puts a major strain on growing mid-sized businesses across the continent. Our team is quite proud to have reduced the demand for USD in Africa by over $100 million each year, promoting local currencies and creating savings of millions in fees each year through cost-effective transfers and efficient treasury solutions.”

Payments companies are doing very well in Africa and are attracting the attention of venture investors. Since 2014, there have been 142 FinTech investments in Africa, of which, 40% have been in ones in the payments sector.

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