African Digital Payments Firm Cellulant Raises $47.5M USD In Series C Funding

Announcements, Blockchain, Investing | May 17, 2018 By:

Africa-based digital payments platform Cellulant has raised $47.5 million in its Series C funding round. The round was led by the Rise Fund, a global impact investing fund managed by growth equity platform TPG Growth. Other investors include Endeavor Catalyst, Satya Capital, Velocity Capital and Progression Africa.

Founded in Nigeria in 2004, Cellulant is a digital payments provider that reaches 40 million people across 11 African countries. The company’s ecosystem claims to connect over 95 banks, 30 mobile network operators, 2 government-backed e-wallets and more than 600 blue chip companies.

The new investment will be used to expand into new markets and to scale existing Cellulant products, such as Agrikore, a mobile blockchain platform for the agriculture industry. The platform helps farmers get access to farm inputs, access to finance, funding, best farming practices, and new markets. It also provides end-to-end management of agri-business activities in a way that brings transparency and control to the agricultural sector. The company claims that Agrikore has already served more than seven million farmers across the continent.

In conjunction with its investment, the Rise Fund will join Cellulant’s board of directors, leveraging the firm’s operational resources and global experience to drive increased value creation for the business and its mission.

“Payments in Africa are not a novelty. With two thirds of Africans unable to access a bank account, we believe that building a connected payments infrastructure is the foundation of solving real challenges and accelerating Africa’s growth and development,” said Ken Njoroge, Cellulant co-founder and Group CEO. “This investment from TPG Growth’s The Rise Fund will enable us to build a world class payments team that can unlock our next phase of growth. This involves not only entering new geographies across the continent, but also consolidating our presence in existing markets.”

“With this new capital and as part of our scaling up strategy, we are leveraging on the growing mobile penetration trend in Africa to broaden our reach and extend our payments ecosystem across the continent,” said Bolaji Akinboro, Cellulant co-founder and CEO of Cellulant Nigeria. “We are scaling up our existing payments products in the agriculture sector, digital banking and internet payments; as well as introducing consumer-focused products to complement the enterprise products we already have. This will allow us to increase access to payments for the millions of Africans who are still unbanked, despite the financial inclusion revolution.”