Ex-Chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management and Chief Economist, Jim O’Neill has invested into Paga, Nigeria’s leading Mobile Payments service which celebrated its 5th anniversary recently.
According Paga Founder & CEO, Tayo Oviosu Jim, O’Neill has spotted Paga’s potential to transform the lives of millions of Nigerians by delivering the best and most convenient payment system for both businesses and individuals.
“Jim’s investment is a testament to the great work of our 205-person team. We are honored to have Jim as a partner and we will continue to work tirelessly until Paga is the defacto way to pay or get paid in Nigeria,” Oviosu said.
Paga was founded in 2009 and in 2011 received its license. Since that time, it has served over 1.3 million individuals and 1,350 businesses to pay or get paid. The company currently has a network of over 4,500 agents in 29 states and allows both businesses and individuals to send money to anyone with a phone number, send money to any bank account, pay merchants, and buy airtime and even receive Western Union remittances from anywhere in the world on their Paga account.
O’Neill’s investment is not just money but his expertise working with the fund will help Paga serve its clients with even better. O’Neill projected that the “BRIC” -Brazil, Russia, India and China would dominate growth in emerging markets. He also projected that the MINT group –Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria, Turkey would shape the world’s economy in the coming decades, and they are doing. It’s during taht time that he first became interested in Paga when he interviewed Oviosu as part of a series on BBC radio discussing the MINT.
O’Neill is confident that the entrepreneurial abilities of the countries younger demographic will be a catalyst for growth over the next 20 years and he is a firm believer in Nigeria’s potential “…to be a spectacular economic success”.
Being indigenous and focused on a key sector – payments, which is major driver of growth, Paga was his likely candidate.
“It is clear to me that Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy, needs payment systems that work for both businesses and individuals for her to reach her potential,” O’Neill said. “Paga delivers greater convenience to businesses and individuals whether they are banked or un-banked. I have chosen to invest in Paga because the team has demonstrated their ability to execute on a bold vision that can have catalytic impact. It is an exciting time for Nigeria and I believe in Tayo and the team to achieve their bold vision to become the number one way to pay and get paid in Nigeria.”