Wave closes largest Series A round for an African fintech with $200 million
Valuing the independent mobile money provider at $1.7 billion, the landmark Series A round was led by Sequoia Heritage, Founders Fund, Stripe and Ribbit.
While similar in functionality to PayPal, the Wave App does not require that customers have a bank account and instead runs a network of ‘agents’ (small local businesses) who use their on-hand cash to service Wave users.
On the announcement, CEO and Founder Drew Durbin commented: “From day one, we’ve been relentlessly focused on building mobile money that’s easy-to-use and radically affordable. We’ve built something people love in Senegal, but that’s only the beginning — our mission is to bring a modern financial network to everyone in Africa.”
Despite being founded in just 2018, Wave is already the largest mobile money player in Senegal, and is showing strong growth in Côte d’Ivoire.
Africa’s newest unicorn sets itself apart from other telecom-led providers in two key ways. First, all deposits and withdrawals at Wave agents are free. Wave users pay only 1% to send money — about 70% less than telecom-led mobile money.
Second, users without a smartphone, Wave provides a free QR-card that allows anyone to transact with an agent.
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Source: Wave closes largest Series A round for an African fintech with $200 million