Ghanaian fintech Dash is announcing that it has raised $32.8 million in an oversubscribed seed round.
Founder and CEO Prince Boakye Boampong started the company in 2019. Before Dash, Boampong was the co-founder of OMG Digital, a YC-backed Ghanaian media startup he started alongside Jesse Ghansah — the current CEO of Float— in 2016.
Dash’s alternative payment network connects mobile money and traditional banks, making it easier for individuals and businesses to transact.
It is not intended to take the role of mobile money or banks. Instead, its wallet gives consumers access to a variety of services that aren’t available through their usual supplier.
“We’re working on interoperability so that a Kenyan flying to Ghana or a Ghanaian traveling to Kenya can pay for things without having to change currencies or open accounts when they land,” Boampong explained.
“We’re taking a page from AliPay and PayTm by developing services that will make our users’ lives easier without requiring them to switch providers.”
Dash’s strategy is similar to that of Visa or Mastercard in that it routes payments through banks and telcos regardless of who issued the card.
As a result, users from various countries — for the time being, Ghana, Nigeria, and Kenya — can connect their bank or mobile money accounts to Dash, pay bills, and send and receive money from other users, while the platform handles currency conversions.
Processing fees, interest generated when users save, FX expenses when Dash is used cross-border, bill payments (commission earned when users pay bills on Dash), and membership (for Dash+, the company’s premium service) are all revenue sources for Dash.
Dash’s seed round, headed by Insight Partners, a New York-based private equity and venture capital firm, is one of the largest of its kind in Africa; only PalmPay’s $40 million now beats it.
The transaction, which follows a $500,000 pre-seed round, adds to a growing list of fintech deals in the sector, which accounted for up to 60% of Africa’s overall venture capital funding last year.
This purchase is particularly notable because it shifts emphasis away from Nigeria, Africa’s hottest fintech industry, to Ghana, where entrepreneurs raised only $167 million in venture capital last year.
Global Founders Capital and 4DX Ventures are among the other investors in the round.
ASK Capital, Techstars, Guillaume Pousaz’s Zinal Growth Partners, Jitendra Gupta of Jupiter Money, Amrish Rau of Pine Labs, the founders of Moss, ProcessOut executives,, and the founders of PennyLane were among those that took part.
The funds will be used to assist the Techstars-backed startup expand to other regions including Tanzania and South Africa, obtain the necessary licenses, increase its team, invest in technology, and introduce new services.