Global Innovation Fund gives $10 million grant to Paga

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Global Innovation Fund (GIF), a unique hybrid investment fund known for investing in social innovations, closed a $10 million financing deal with Paga, one of the leading mobile money companies in Nigeria. The Company’s current investors- Goodwell (managed by Alitheia Capital), Adlevo Capital, Omidya Network and Unreasonable Capital also participated in the investment deal.

Paga, which commenced commercial operation in August 2012, notes that the current investment deal brings the total amount the company has raised since inception to $35 million. The company also reported that it has served 9 million customers and provided over 10,000 jobs through its 17,000 agents, who hire staff to run their stores.

GIF’s CEO, Alix Peterson Zwane said “Paga’s mission of helping people ‘make life possible’ aligns with our core mission of supporting entrepreneurs and innovators that seek to improve the lives of those living on less than $5 a day. I am pleased that GIF will help enable Paga’s next phase”.

In statement released by Paga, it is stressed that “the growth financing announced will enable Paga further scale its business in Nigeria to drive growth of Paga’s mobile wallet and agent network and explore expansion opportunities in other markets where similar problems exist”.

Nigeria, the biggest economy in Africa with a $405 billion GDP, is one of the fastest growing emerging markets in the world. It was however noted that there are over 100 million adults that find it difficult to transfer or leverage money for basic human needs. Paga is passionate about solving the problem, as it exists for even those with bank accounts.

Tokunboh Ishmael, a Managing Partner at Alitheia Capital, expressed his optimism by stating that “Paga has shown solid progress, and alongside other investments in our portfolio, has played a huge role in our ability to demonstrate that enabling access to essential services for the broad population, has both both significant financial and development impact”.

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