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Exclusive: Moniepoint fintech in advanced acquisition talks in Nigeria, Kenya

By David Whitehouse

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Posted on June 18, 2023 08:09

 © A woman looks at Nigerian banks apps on a smart phone in Abuja, Nigeria September 21, 2020. REUTERS
A woman looks at Nigerian banks apps on a smart phone in Abuja, Nigeria September 21, 2020. REUTERS

Nigerian fintech Moniepoint is in advanced discussions over acquisitions in its domestic market and in Kenya, CEO Tosin Eniolorunda tells The Africa Report.

Eniolorunda aims to conclude at least one transaction in the fourth quarter of this year. The company is also in earlier stage talks with other candidates for purchase, and is interested in making an acquisition in Tanzania, Eniolorunda says.

Moniepoint, formerly called TeamApt, currently processes the majority of  point of sale (POS) transactions in Nigeria. It also provides working capital loans and accounting businesses for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). 

The firm claims to be Africa’s largest fintech by transaction volume. Leveraging technology, Eniolorunda says, has been the key to reducing costs and achieving scale in Nigeria. “Traditional players have not been able to scale their offer to SMEs.”

The company has a customer base of over 600,000 businesses and processed total payments volume of over $170b in 2022. Moving into new markets will help the company to “diversify macro-economic risks and increase our addressable market,” Eniolorunda says. The company is profitable, and retained earnings and previously raised funds will help to pay for acquisitions, he adds.

Moniepoint at the start of June appointed Ross Strike as head of mergers and acquisitions. Strike, who previously worked at British International Investment (BII), and in Citi’s investment banking division, also serves as Moniepoint’s head of investor relations.

The company is also considering a potential new raise of equity and debt to add more firepower. Moniepoint, which has headquarters in London, has retained the Financial Technology Partners investment bank to advise on possible fundraising. 

A stock market listing is a possible future avenue which is “on the table,” Eniolorunda says, though no decision on a venue has been taken.

Naira optimism

Moniepoint was launched in 2015 by a group of former Interswitch employees and started off by providing back office payment infrastructure for banks. 

It now counts all of Nigeria’s commercial banks as its customers. Investors include QED Investors of the US, BII, Global Ventures, Novastar and New Voices Fund.

The company’s growth has been underpinned by demand for POS capability in Nigeria, driven by central bank policy moves to reduce the use of cash in the economy and a dearth of bank branches relative to the population. 

Nigeria has 4.3 branches per 100,000 people, compared to the global average of 11.7. The number of deployed POS terminals in Africa’s most populous country increased to 1.8m in March, a 75% year-on-year increase.

Eniolorunda voiced optimism for business in Nigeria for the rest of the year, and said that the goal is to reach $1b in revenue in the “next couple of years.” He sees early policy moves from President Bola Tinubu to unify official and parallel market naira exchange rates as a step forward.

Floating the naira will mean a “much more transparent exchange rate” and the move has already triggered a “lot of optimism,” he says. The decision is “good for business, jobs and growth” and will help Nigerian entrepreneurs to attract foreign investment, as well as reducing inflation.

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