Kenyan payment services provider Cellulant is reportedly starting a South African business after months of testing the market and is looking to wrap up fundraising for further expansion to the Middle East and UK, per a report by Bloomberg.
The twenty-year-old company is looking to tap South Africa’s mature retail ecosystem, with the United Arab Emirates and the UK set to follow in the next two years, Chief Business Officer Sike Bamisebi said in an interview.
Cellulant is about to close its latest fundraising round, she said. While the company hasn’t disclosed the likely amount, it has previously indicated it could raise as much as $100 million.
The company enables businesses to collect payments online and offline from mobile money, cards or banks with its clients including airlines, banks, fintech and fast-food chains including Burger King. Its backers include TPG Growth’s The Rise Fund, which led a $47.5 million round in 2018. The company operates in 18 countries and serves 35 others.
One of its recent partnerships is a financial services partnership with Solv Kenya, an MSMEs-focused B2B digital platform that will enable the company's MSME partners to access digital payment and collections services offered by Cellulant.
As payment-technology companies continue at the forefront of an unprecedented boom in investment in African startups, hitting a record $5 billion in 2021. The business is looking to tap into the rising demand for e-commerce on the continent, fueled by better connectivity and a lack of traditional banks.