Satya invests in Cellulant alongside The Rise Fund

14 May, 2018

14 May, 2018 – Satya Capital invested alongside The Rise Fund in acquiring a stake in Cellulant, a leading digital payments provider that reaches 40 million people across 11 African countries. The Rise Fund, is a global impact investing fund managed by the growth equity platform TPG Growth. Other investors in the transaction include Endeavor Catalyst, Velocity Capital, and Progression Africa. The deal is the largest of its kind dedicated solely to Africa’s fintech and payments space, competitively positioning Cellulant in a fast-growing sector where it already enjoys an early mover advantage.

Cellulant’s digital payments platform delivers connected, flexible payment options for consumers and businesses, and works with financial institutions, governments and mobile network operators to increase transparency and expand their reach in Africa. Building on a business model that first debuted in Kenya and Nigeria in 2004, the company has since expanded its services across 11 African markets, including: Zambia, Ghana, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Uganda, Botswana, Mozambique, Malawi, and Liberia.

 “Cellulant occupies a unique position in the fintech ecosystem in Africa, with the potential to offer increased access, savings, and income to tens of millions of users across the continent,” said Yemi Lalude, Managing Partner for TPG in Africa. “As more and more smartphones come online across Africa, Cellulant makes it easy for customers to increase their incomes.”

 Cellulant offers the opportunity to create transformational growth for African economies by expanding financial inclusion on a continent where nearly two-thirds of the population do not have a bank account. This includes easy-to-access digital payment solutions, interoperable financial services, and mobile banking solutions that can help the unbanked open accounts, cut fees, and save for the future, as well as helping farmers and small and medium sized business owners expand their reach through improved financial services. More than 94% of Cellulant’s customer base was previously unbanked before they signed up.

 “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. This investment 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,” said Ken Njoroge, Cellulant co-founder and Group CEO.

 “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. 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,” added Bolaji Akinboro, Cellulant co-founder and CEO of Cellulant Nigeria.

 This investment will also help scale existing Cellulant products, like Agrikore. Agrikore is a mobile blockchain-based platform that has served more than 7 million farmers across the continent, better connecting them to the market and helping them sell their goods to a diverse range of buyers more easily. It also expands access to government subsidy programs to help reduce costs for farmers, increase their yields, and raise incomes.

 

About Satya Capital

Satya Capital is an independent investment firm focused on providing long-term growth capital to African businesses. The firm partners with entrepreneurs to build world-class companies with regional and pan-regional scope and has the flexibility to back investee companies during all stages of development – from expansion to post-IPO – because its permanent capital base enables it to hold investments without a fixed exit horizon. In particular, Satya will seed investment platforms with a view of creating evergreen holdings in its core sectors. The Satya team works closely with portfolio company management to build a foundation for future growth by developing internal systems, attracting management talent and leveraging its network of deep relationships across Africa. Satya targets investments of between $20m and $150m and invests in a broad range of sectors including: Consumer & Retail, Healthcare, TMT and Financial Services. The Satya team has a rich mix of financial, strategic and investment experience, as well as valuable direct operating experience, most notably through the establishment and growth of Celtel, a pan-African mobile operator.

For more information, please visit: www.satyacapital.com

About The Rise Fund

The Rise Fund is the world’s largest global fund committed to achieving measurable, positive social and environmental outcomes alongside competitive financial returns — what we call “complete returns.” The Rise Fund is managed by TPG Growth, the global growth equity and middle market buyout platform of alternative asset firm TPG. The Rise Fund is led by a group of influential thought leaders with a deep personal and professional commitment to driving social and environmental progress. The board includes: Bill McGlashan, TPG Growth Founder and Managing partner; Bono, Jeff Skoll, Mo Ibrahim, Laurene Powell Jobs, Anand Mahindra and Pierre Omidyar. The Rise Fund’s objectives align with the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals. The Rise Fund invests in education, energy, food and agriculture, financial services, growth infrastructure, healthcare, and technology, media, and telecommunications companies that deliver complete returns.

For more information, visit www.therisefund.com.