Ozow, which rebranded from i-Pay in April 2019 as it zeroed in on assisting SMEs with payments, was launched in November 2014 by Thomas Pays, Mitchan Adams and Lyle Eckstein, who identified a need for an efficient and secure online payment system in the local market.
The company enables millions of merchants and consumers with easy, fast and secure alternative payment solutions, including QR codes, point of sale, e-commerce, e-billing and peer-to-peer payments. Ozow works with major retailers, including MTN, Vodacom, the Shoprite Group, Takealot, and Uber.
Ozow’s US$48 million Series B round is led by Tencent, and also includes Endeavor Catalyst and Endeavor Harvest Fund.
The latest fundraising will support Ozow’s efforts to transform the banking ecosystem and create greater financial access for the underbanked. It will also assist Ozow in cementing its position as one of the leading payment providers on the continent, and help it expand into new markets.
“It’s an honour to bring on board Tencent, Endeavor Catalyst and Endeavor Harvest Fund. This is a validation of our role in transforming the banking industry through the development of innovative, convenient, and more inclusive payment solutions for everyone,” said Pays.
Since Ozow’s Series A funding round in June 2019, the company has seen 100 per cent year-on-year growth. It now processes over US$100 million in transaction volumes monthly across a network of thousands of merchants. The company continues to see an increased growth in its user base, with more than 120,000 users joining the platform each month.
Pays says the Series B funding round will enable the company’s growth plans and regional expansion in Africa.
“We’re also heavily focused on expanding our product offering. This will largely be driven through the development of new products, as well as a strong focus on strategic investments that include mergers and acquisitions,” he said.