Paystack CEO, Shola Akinlade, speaks about his startup's $8 million funding and what it means for Nigerian fintech

Shola Akinlade
Paystack has raised $8 million in Series A funding from global payment giants, Stripe, Visa, and Tencent, a follow-up from the $1.3 million it raised in 2016 from both international and local investors.

This is huge for a company that started a little over 2 years ago. In that time, Paystack has embedded itself deep into the Nigerian payments ecosystem, processing about 15% of online transactions in Africa’s largest economy, according to Kola Aina, a venture capitalist and partner at Ventures Platform.
In the two years since operations began, Paystack has consistently experienced double-digit growth.
This new round of funding will go into expanding the company’s operations in Africa. Ghana is the first landing pod, Shola Akinlade, Paystack’s CEO tells me. He adds that the goal remains the same, “to make it easier for business to make payments.”
As simple as that sounds, it is not a very straightforward task in Nigeria for businesses, small and large, to send and receive money. More so, it was not always as (relatively) smooth as it is now. Before Paystack, the payments infrastructure in Nigeria made it so that the process was both cumbersome and uncertain.
In the past, it could take businesses up to 30 minutes to make money transfers. Now, it is a matter of seconds. But even with that, there is still a lot of work to be done. There are gaps that need plugging and holes that need filling. This is evident in the amount of investment that has come into the Nigerian fintech space recently.
For example, within three months in 2018, investors pumped $73.7 million into Nigerian startups. 75% of that funding went to fintech startups. But as important as the amount of funding that Nigerian fintech startups have received is, more crucial in Paystack’s case is the elite nature of their headline investors -- Stripe, Visa, and Tencent.