Bizao, a fintech startup based in Cote d’Ivoire, has announced $8.1 million series A funding to accelerate its geographical footprint across the continent and invest in the design of new lines of products and services.
The funding round was led by AfricInvest Financial Inclusion Vehicle (AfricInvest FIVE), Adelie, a multi-stage venture capital fund focused on technology companies, and Seedstars Africa Ventures.
Launched in 2019, Bizao facilitates the processing of end-to-end payment flows to and from the main digital payment systems in Africa (airtime, mobile money wallets, credit cards).
Within 3 years, Bizao has expanded its operations in 10 African countries (Burkina-Faso, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea, Mali, Democratic Republic of Congo, Senegal, Tunisia, Togo, Gabon) and has built a robust and cutting-edge infrastructure that processes over 350 million payment requests per month.
Bizao’s modular and scalable platform allows clients to collect and issue payments online and in-stores via point-of-sale (POS).
The technology used by Bizao ensures end-to-end transactions traceability and is hence, up to the latest standards of banking and finance regulation to prevent fraud and money laundering. This, ultimately, enables Bizao to deepen its relationship with its partners.
“We have spent the last few years working closely with our partners (telecoms operators, banks, and mobile wallet providers) to improve our products and services in line with our customer requirements. Thanks to this close collaboration with industry players, we have multiplied the transaction volumes processed by our platform by almost 20 over the past 12 months. This round of financing will enable us to design new product lines for high-potential vertically integrated organisations, expand in new markets and grow the team across all our offices” said Aurélien Delort-Duval, Founder and CEO of Bizao.
“Bizao provides an adequate response to the deficient infrastructure of interoperable payment schemes in Africa, enabling affordable access to a broad range of transactional financial services for the benefit of underbanked populations as well as small and medium-sized enterprises.
“This ambition to connect and converge different payment channels (mobile wallets, debit cards, and airtime) towards Bizao’s unique platform is in line with the high-impact strategy of AfricInvest-FIVE vehicle aiming to foster financial inclusion in Africa through equity investment in financial institutions, including banks, insurance companies and high-potential fintech companies, in order to accelerate their growth,” said Omar Bekkali, Partner at AfricInvest
“It is the future of financial services that is orchestrating itself in Africa; mobile money has enabled more than 60% of the population on the continent to finally have access to basic financial services. The penetration rate of mobile on the continent is close to 100% and we are witnessing a growth in the use of credit cards. We are convinced that a platform combining all these payment methods has an exceptional growth potential.” said Jean-Manuel Costa, Managing Partner at Adelie.
“With more than 600 million mobile money accounts, Africa is the ultimate place for mobile payments. Yet 90% of transactions are still settled in cash. Bizao tackles a major societal issue and can help unlock African trade potential. To achieve this goal, Bizao leverages its payment Hub which is one of the most technically robust. In addition, Bizao’s African internationalization strategy matches that of the companies we support” said Tamim El Zein, Partner at Seedstars Africa Ventures.