Investment One Financial Services Limited (Investment One), one of Nigeria’s leading financial services providers, has announced through its Venture Capital subsidiary, Investment One Vencap Limited, that it has taken a stake in Paycode.
Paycode is a provider of technology solutions that use biometric digital identity to guarantee proof of life and enable low-cost, last-mile delivery of basic financial services. The South-African based company solves three major difficulties for the unbanked and underserved by offering low-cost solutions to individuals who lack formal identity and live in places with limited or no mobile or internet access.
Paycode provides a platform that combines biometric digital identity and payments in one easy platform, allowing access to basic financial services such as cash payments, mobile money, remittances, insurance, microloans, airtime, power, and social subsidies.
“We see Investment One as so much more than just an equity partner to Paycode,” said Ralph Pecker, CEO of Paycode. Investment One is a major and forward-thinking participant in Nigeria’s financial services sector, which is a critical growth area for us. We believe that bringing them on board would help us achieve our expansion goals in Nigeria much more quickly and that we will be able to deliver an exceptional return on their investment.”
The technological USPs of Paycode was appealing to Investment One, a valuation that focused on current revenues and users while reasonably discounting cashflows (in an environment where fintech valuations have noticeably sky-rocketed during 2021) and the scope for growth in Nigeria through projects already won. Paycode’s potential growth trajectory in Nigeria alone was analysed by Investment One to determine its relative value. The majority of Paycode’s active customers are currently in Ghana, Zambia, and Mozambique, but the pipeline in larger countries like Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of the Congo is a crucial growth driver.
“Our investment in Paycode reflects both our desire to provide exceptional returns for our clients and our commitment to bringing financial services to Nigeria’s underserved sectors.” Nicholas Nyamali, Managing Director of Investment One Group, said, “Paycode’s unique approach to solving the most complicated challenges of the financially excluded aligns well with our own innovative DNA.”
Paycode is planning a Series A capital round in the first quarter of 2022. Currently, it has over 6 million card users enrolled, a Mastercard alliance, and a robust pipeline of fee-driven grant and social programs.