Pan-African payment processor, Interswitch today launched a new US$10 million ‘ePayment Growth Fund’ to fuel startups in the payments and ecommerce sector in Africa and as well invested $850k in ‘Africa Courier Express’ (ACE), formerly A-Post.
ACE will use the initial investment of US$850,000 to expand across West Africa.
In a statement, Tunde Kehinde and Ercin Eksin, Founders, ACE, said: “We are delighted and very proud to be selected as the first investment from the Interswitch ePayment Growth Fund. This new capital provided through our new partnership with Interswitch, and which is part of a larger US$2.6 million funding, will enable us to accelerate our expansion through Nigeria and beyond into West Africa.”
Launched in November 2013 by Kehinde and Eksin, ACE provides reliable third-party logistics, tracking and pay-on-delivery (cash and electronic) services for retail businesses in Nigeria. The firm is now present in 5 cities across Nigeria and has shipped to almost 100,000 customers, and is currently one of Nigeria’s largest ecommerce logistics management companies.
The investment by the Interswitch fund will enable ACE to grow the West Africa’s retail market by allowing retailers to focus on their core business of purchasing and managing inventory.
ACE has distribution hubs in major cities across Nigeria (Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Ibadan and Abeokuta), developed a world class IT backbone infrastructure to support transparent tracking of packages, acquired anchor clients, and hired experienced logistics staff to launch and run the business. The company is currently supporting a number of blue chip clients and is experiencing growing demand for its services across several sectors.
In a statement Mitchell Elegbe, Group Managing Director, Interswitch, said:“Interswitch is committed to encouraging innovative ideas and developing start-ups across Africa. We created the US$10 million e-payment growth fund to do just that, and it is with great excitement that today we can announce our first investment. ACE is exactly the sort of business we want to support: dynamic, energetic and dedicated to breaking barriers for e-commerce in the African market.”