YC-Backed Nigerian Fintech Startup Paystack Raises $1.3M Led By Tencent, Comcast & Singularity


 Paystack, a Nigerian payments firm has raised $1.3M in seed funding from international investors Tencent, Comcast Ventures and Singularity Investments, with participation from Spark, M&S Partners, Tokyo Founders Fund,  Blue Rinc Capital, Pave Investments and KIBS-CFY Partners.

Angel investors Michael Siebel, Justin Kan, Olumide Soyombo, Leonard Stiegeler among others participated in the round.

Led by co-founders Shola Akinlade and Ezra Olubi, Paystack will use the investment to build out its engineering team in Lagos, as well grow its sales and marketing operations, to accelerate product development and customer onboarding.

According to Paystack CEO Shola Akinlade: “Having painstakingly identified the many barriers that merchants on the continent have when it comes to online payments, we have built and refined a product for Africa that we hope will act as a catalyst for the continent’s online economy, be it on-demand services, ecommerce, travel & hospitality, financial services or entertainment.”

Paystack aims to become the go-to, indispensable layer that connects merchants to payment options as it does not favour one payment platform over any other. Merchants who sign up for Paystack can receive live payments from customers within 30 minutes of integration and the product allows for recurring billing, thanks to its PCI-Compliant one-click and subscription payments infrastructure.

Paystack, recently built a payment gateway integration  for Shopify, aims to solve the considerable challenge of online payment transactions in Nigeria, by seamlessly connecting all multi-channel payment options with merchants across the country, enabling them to accept payments from around the world, via credit card, debit card, and direct bank transfer on web and mobile.

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“We know Africa’s digital economy has potential, many billions of dollars of potential, we simply need to unlock it and make businesses work better, faster and more effectively. Paystack will do this.  Thanks to the backing from our investors with today’s announcement, and our time spent with Y Combinator, we are now in the strongest position yet to resolve the disconnect between African businesses and accepting payments,” added Akinlade.

Now live in Nigeria, Paystack aims to roll out the service across the continent. The firm has signed up iROKOtv, Jobberman, Payporte, and Hotels.ng.  The firm has over 30 independent developers who have built additional plug-ins and tools for Paystack, using the company’s REST APIs and client libraries.

“Paystack is addressing a massive market, helping businesses accept payments online in less than 30 minutes from sign-up,” said Christian Ebersol, Associate at Comcast Ventures. “We look forward to supporting this talented team as they streamline the payment process between merchants and consumers.”