Paga closes first institution investment

Pagatech yesterday announced the closing of its first institutional funding by Goodwell West Africa. Pagatech was founded in early 2009 with a mission to transform lives by delivering innovative and universal access to financial services across Africa. Pagatech’s first product offering, Paga, is a direct to consumer mobile payments service launched to the general public in February 2011.

According to the press release on their website, Paga’s mission is to deliver innovative and universal access to financial services for those underserved or excluded, especially payments and savings via the mobile phone. Their approach to mobile payments is a multi-stakeholder one. Paga is available on all mobile networks and is delivered to customers in collaboration with strong local banks (including micro-finance institutions), retailers and various other private and public sector organisations.

Paga is an innovative, open, secure, and interoperable mobile payments platform that allows any person who has a mobile phone to transact electronically – thus turning the mobile phone into an electronic wallet. Paga enables you to send money to anyone who has a mobile phone or pay for goods and services. Paga, licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria, is directly targeted at resolving pain points that Nigerians have to contend with today when it comes to cash: money transfer, bill payments, mobile phone airtime top-up, and merchant payments.

Paga’s product include:

  • Send cash: Paga is the fast and convenient way to send cash to your friends and family. All you need is the mobile phone number of the person you want to send cash to, the amount to send.That’s it! The recipient will get the cash within seconds. You can send cash to anybody – even if they don’t have a Paga account.
  • Bill pay: With Paga you’ll never need to stand in line to pay another bill. You can send payment for your cable TV bill, electricity bill, water bill, even your children’s school fees, from the comfort of your living room chair.
  • Buy airtime: Buy and automatically top-up your mobile phone airtime using Paga. It’s the most convenient way to load your phone with credit, and all mobile networks are supported. Paga also makes it easy for you to buy and send airtime to friends and family

Interesting in knowing more about what paga has to offer? Visit mypaga to experience the service.

See below for the full press release

Paga receives institutional investment from Goodwell West Africa: Lagos/ Hilversum, May 5th 2011 – Goodwell West Africa, a microfinance investment vehicle co-managed by investment manager Goodwell Investments and Alitheia Capital in Nigeria, announces today its investment in Paga – a mobile payments company based in Lagos Nigeria.

Paga is a pioneering mobile money service launched in Nigeria in February 2011, after receiving approval from the Central Bank of Nigeria. With Paga, any person with a mobile phone or access to the internet is able to send cash, purchase airtime credit, pay bills, pay retailers and perform a variety of other transactions. Paga operates via a nationwide network of dedicated agents, which include several hundred agents associated with DStv, the leading provider of multi-channel pay television in Africa, with whom Paga has an exclusive partnership.

Paga’s mission is to deliver innovative and universal access to financial services for those underserved or excluded, especially payments and savings via the mobile phone. Their approach to mobile payments is a multi-stakeholder one – Paga is available on all mobile networks and is delivered to customers in collaboration with strong local banks (including micro-finance institutions), retailers and various other private and public sector organisations. Goodwell Investments is an innovative impact investment firm focused on access to finance and sustainable development. It invests in entrepreneurial microfinance organisations on a socially and commercially sustainable basis. Its microfinance investments are focussed on two regions: India and West Africa. In West Africa, Goodwell works in partnership with Alitheia Capital based out of Lagos.

Els Boerhof, Partner at Goodwell:

“Our fund was founded on the principal belief that improving access to affordable financial services for people at the ‘Base of the Pyramid’ contributes to sustainable development. This can best be achieved by developing and scaling up entrepreneurial institutions aimed at banking the unbanked. We believe that Paga will achieve a substantial social return as well as an attractive financial result. Providing the poor with savings and remittances via the mobile phone makes access to these financial services cheaper, as expensive bank branches are not needed and many people do have a mobile phone nowadays in Nigeria.”

‘Tokunboh Ishmael, CEO of Alitheia:

“We seek investments that not only provide financial impact but also social impact. Paga provides this double impact through its innovative platform, which facilitates financial inclusion by taking relevant financial services to the doorsteps of millions of Nigerians. We are very confident in the Paga team, in its bold vision and look forward to working closely to achieve our mutual objectives.”

Tayo Oviosu, Founder and CEO of Paga:

“Goodwell and Alitheia bring a great wealth of international and local experience which will further strengthen our ability to achieve our vision as a company. We are strongly committed to bringing quality financial services to all Nigerians and truly believe that Paga will change the life of the average person for the better.”

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