Wapi Pay has raised $2.2 million (Sh237.6 million) in pre-seed funding to scale up global payments and remittances between Africa and Asia.
Wapi Pay, a firm based in Singapore and headquartered in Kenya says the funding will be used to help engage regulators for licensing across Africa, and drive higher and sustained growth.
“These funds will help Wapi Pay diversify its product range and drive growth so that we
can evolve remittances into real-time global cross-border payments, starting with Africa
and Asia. All while minimizing the cost of transactions, it needs to be as easy as sending
M-PESA,” said Eddie Ndichu, co-founder at Wapi Pay.
The firm further expects the funding to make remittances flow between Africa and Asia faster, easier and cheaper.
The investment was led by China-based global fund MSA Capital, who have invested in
domestic Asian unicorns such as Meituan and NIO, and international unicorns such as
Nubank and Klarna.
Additional investors were current angel investors, EchoVC and Kepple Africa Ventures, the firm said.
Existing investors are Future Hub, Gobi Ventures, and Transsion Holding.
“Africa to Asia is a large trading corridor overlooked and underserved by tech today. We
believe Wapi Pay is the best team to build the necessary infrastructure to support its
growing trade volumes. We are excited to support with our extensive China fintech
network and playbook,” added MSA Capital.
Wapi Pay further targets to enhance value for existing and potential customers by broadening its suite of products.
“Wapi Pay is an exciting fintech that is removing friction in an enormous payments space for Africa and powering the circular trade economy. As the symbiotic relationship between Africa and Asia deepens, Wapi Pay’s ecosystem of services will become increasingly critical to bridge and drive economic value between the two continents.” EchoVC said on the new funding.
The Kenyan fintech targets the Africa-Asia remittances which have grown over the years supported by China-Africa trade which surged 27pc to stand at $52.1 billion in the first quarter of 2021.
Ndichu says the startup aims at reducing remittances fees to below 3pc from the current market average of 15pc by simplifying transaction methods and waiting period. “Wapi Pay bypasses traditional payment networks, optimizing efficiency and cost for our customers. Users choose the delivery channels they want such as Bank to Bank, Wallet to Wallet, Bank to Wallet and Wallet to Bank options to transfer funds as well as make merchant payments, with settlement done within 24 hours.”