Paga, the largest mobile payments firm in Nigeria, is aiming to be the next company worth at least a billion dollars in Africa. The company counts 17 million unique users among its ranks, which range from consumers to companies and those who start tech firms. And its growth plans span beyond just Africa, Bloomberg reported.
CEO Tayo Oviosu is looking beyond Nigeria as he eyes growing the company to Mexico and Ethiopia, the latter venture being slated for 2022.
The firm handled $2.3 billion worth of transactions last year and $8 billion over the last four years, as per Oviosu, Bloomberg reported. He told the news outlet that Paga could attain a valuation of $1 billion at a minimum “in the next year or two.” However, Oviosu would not talk about the present valuation of the firm, Bloomberg reported.
A collection of agents are at the heart of Paga’s business. These individuals essentially handle the tasks that a bank teller would do. The firm’s 27,000 agents, which are stationed throughout Nigeria, are signing clients up for Paga accounts and also assisting them with processing payments or organizing cash into a bank deposit.
Moreover, Paga is releasing is programming interface to tech entrepreneurs. It is also growing its business that serves individuals by the way of a tie-up with Visa.
Paga Co-Founder Jay Alabraba previously told PYMNTS that cash was long king in Nigeria even with over a decade of efforts to bring cashless choices to individuals.
The reasons were simple: Cash is known and trusted, and people (particularly Nigeria’s big unbanked and underbanked population) preferred paying bills in person in cash. That was until the pandemic hit.
Alabraba told PYMNTS that the pandemic made transacting in person much harder as firms closed their doors, and the need for digital choices dramatically increased dramatically.
As PYMNTS previously noted, the “secret sauce” for Paga’s growth has been the agent network, which offers an easy cash-in/cash-out point for users.