Airtel Africa picks up $200 million investment in mobile money business

Airtel Africa picks up $200 million investment in mobile money business

The Rise Fund, the impact investing arm of TPG, is to invest $200 million in Airtel Africa’s mobile money business, at a $2.65 billion valuation.

Operating under the Airtel Money brand, the services is targeted at the large unbanked market across 14 African countries, and includes mobile wallet deposit and withdrawals, merchant and commercial payments, benefits transfers, loans and savings, virtual credit card and international money transfers.

The company currently counts 21 million users for its suite of of mobile payment services, generating revenue of $110 million in the most recent quarter, and underlying Ebitda of $54 million.

Raghunath Mandava, CEO of Airtel Africa, comments: "In most of our markets there is limited access to traditional financial institutions, and little banking infrastructure, with less than half of the population having a bank account across sub-Saharan Africa. Our markets therefore afford substantial market potential for mobile money services to meet the needs of the tens of millions of customers in Africa who have little or no access to banking and financial services, and this demand is driving growth.

Under the deal with TPG, Airtel Africa will continue to hold a majority stake in the mobile money unit, with plans to explore an IPO within the next four years.

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