Wave, an African company that specializes in providing mobile payment solutions has reportedly secured USD 200 million in a Series A funding round led by Sequoia Heritage, Founder’s Fund, Stripe, and Ribbit Capital.
This is considered to be the largest Series A investment round in the Francophone region, now valuing the fintech startup at USD 1.7 billion. Other existing investors who took part in the round were Sam Altman and Partech Africa.
Wave is known to be a spinoff of Sendwave, Africa’s remittance provider, and was founded by Drew Durbin and Lincoln Quirk in 2014. The company offers very little or no fee remittances in Europe, North America, Asia, and Africa.
However, Wave is different from other telecom-led providers in its unique ways. All deposits, as well as withdrawals at Wave, are free while users pay only 1% to send money, which is about 70% less compared to its rivals.
For users without a smartphone, Wave provides a free QR-card that allows them to transact with an agent. Despite being founded in just 2018, the company is already the largest mobile payment solutions provider in Senegal.
Durbin believes that Wave is providing a mobile money service that is “radically affordable”, unlike that of M-Pesa, Orange, Tigo, and other platforms.
If reports are to be believed, Wave currently has billions of dollars in annual volume and around 5 million monthly active users. The own infrastructure full-stack of Wave consists of agent and consumer applications, agent networks, QR cards, business collections, and disbursements.
The company aims to expand into new African markets such as Uganda and Mali with fresh investments while reinforcing its existing presence as well as improving its digital offerings and operations.
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