Mastercard is to invest $100 million into Airtel Africa's mobile money business.
The transaction comes just weeks after The Rise Fund, the impact investing arm of TPG, invested $200 million in Airtel Mobile Commerce (AMC), at a $2.65 billion valuation.
AMC is currently the holding company for several of Airtel Africa’s mobile money operations and is intended to own and operate the mobile money businesses across all of Airtel Africa’s fourteen operating countries.
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.
The Mastercard transaction is subject to the transfer of specified mobile money business assets and contracts into AMC, with $75 million released in a first tranche and a further $25 million invested once the all the remaining transfers have been completed.
The proceeds from the transaction will be used to reduce debt and invest in network and sales infrastructure in the respective operating countries.
Alongside the investment, the two firms have extended commercial agreements and signed a new business framework which will deepen their partnerships across numerous geographies and areas including card issuance, payment gateway, payment processing, merchant acceptance and remittance solutions, amongst others.
Airtel Africa aims to seek further investments for the business up to a value of 25% of the issued share capital and to explore a potential listing within four years.