The past year may have introduced more economic complexity and mercurial market shift than could have been realistically expected when 2020 first kicked off in January, but it has not sat still or rested on its laurels. The payments industry has seen significant innovation, disruption, investment and transformation. Organisations like Prosus have invested a staggering $1bn (R15.5bn) on Fintech and M&A globally over the past few years via their emerging markets payment leader, PayU.
Karen Nadasen, CEO of PayU South Africa, says, “PayU has focused its spending on M&A that has global consequences for customers and markets. Where we excel is that each acquisition is woven together and integrated into the PayU Hub which facilitates global, borderless payments to a potential 3bn customers in high-growth markets across Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East, Africa and Latin America, via a single API integration, and offering 400+ international and local payments methods instantaneously. PayU places emerging market ecommerce players straight in front of established markets, globally.”
Focusing on disruptive and inventive brands that challenge the status quo and offer improved experiences to customers, this level of investment will add value to a region that, according to research from the IMF shows how sub-Saharan Africa is the only region, globally, that has close to 10% of its GDP in mobile money transactions.
Karen Nadasen, CEO of PayU South Africa, says, “These are impressive statistics that show how heavily African users lean on payment solutions and transactions to pay bills, manage money, make cross-border payments, and build businesses. The IMF emphasises the value of innovation within the fintech sector when it comes to banking the unbanked, changing financial engagement and capturing the spend of the African continent.”
According to Statista, South African revenue in the eCommerce market is projected to reach US$4,062m in 2020 with an annual growth rate (CAGR 2020-2025) of 9.2%, while revenue in the ecommerce market in Africa is expected to reach almost $20bn in 2020, with an annual growth rate (between 2020-2025) of 15.5%.
So which of PayU’s recent acquisitions matter most to Africa?
In India, PayU announced its acquisition of a majority stake in PaySense, a consumer lending firm evaluated at $185 million. The merger with PayU’s LazyPay subsidiary forms part of the company’s journey to transform access to financial services in the region and its global focus on investment into technology that will shape the future of fintech.
Red Dot Payment
This is reflected in its 2019 acquisition of Red Dot Payment (RDP) in 2019. Based in Southeast Asia, RDP formed a trusted bridge into the region for PayU customers and companies. RDP offered the company local connectivity and opportunity that PayU’s global customer portfolio could then leverage best-in-class cross-border payment connectivity. RDP is one of Singapore’s largest home-grown and trusted online payment solutions and continues to expand its presence across the region with offices in Indonesia and Thailand.
In addition to RDP and PaySense, PayU acquired iyzico, a Turkish payments provider that has allowed for the company to cement its position in Turkey, a region that has seen impressive growth over the past few years.
PayU led the round at a $1.5 billion valuation for Remitly, a solution designed to provide remittance and financial services to immigrants, assisting the unbanked, underserved and overlooked, to gain access to financial transactions – a service very much in need in Africa – at a low cost. They have recently announced an addition $85 million in financing due to the global demand for digital remittances during the pandemic.
“The direct benefits of these acquisitions to PayU are how they collectively intensify the knowledge and technical expertise to service emerging markets. This snowballing and integration of the best payments partners into PayU’s Hub delivers leading-edge functionality and knowledge to African businesses who want to go global or global businesses that want to enter Africa. It’s all about surety and quality and Prosus’ acquisition trail is evidence of its commitment to lead on the continent. With Africa still relatively untapped, the next decade promises to see explosive growth for the first movers, and we plan to be in pole position,” Nadasen concludes.