Digital Africa

Africa’s top 40 Digital Leaders: #8 – Nigeria’s Mitchell Elegbe, Unicorn builder

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Digital Africa


By Honoré Banda, Jaysim Hanspal

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Posted on November 17, 2021 13:44

Mitchell Elegbe is the MD/CEO of Interswitch
Mitchell Elegbe is the MD/CEO of Interswitch

Nigerian fintech legend Mitchell Elegbe is celebrated as a pioneer of the country’s digital uplift, creating Interswitch, one of Africa’s first unicorns. It achieved the $1bn+ valuation after a $200m injection from Visa in 2019. He comes in at #8 on our list of Africa’s Top 40 Digital Leaders.

Mitchell Elegbe founded Interswitch in 2002, after his first encounter with an ATM swallowed his card in Scotland.

An alumnus of the China Europe International Business School (CEIBS) Global CEO Programme and the African Leadership Institute’s Archbishop Tutu Fellowship Programme, he now wants to help transform African economies and push towards a cashless marketplace.

He comes in at #8 on our list of Africa’s Top 40 Digital Leaders.

Interswitch is a Nigerian digital payments company and one of the continent’s first unicorns. In 2010, shareholders decided to sell two-thirds of the company to raise more funding. Nine years later, after a $200m cash injection from Visa, it was valued at $1bn. Its planned initial public offering in London, though, has repeatedly been delayed and does not yet have a launch date.

Pan-African designs

Interswitch’s main market is Nigeria, but it is set on

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