Credit: Boston Globe / Contributor
Stripe — the $36B private payments firm — has the most ambitious mission statement of any startup: it wants to increase the GDP of the internet.
However you want to parse that statement, the result will clearly be massive.
In light of this mission, yesterday’s announcement that Stripe will acquire Nigerian payments firm Paystack for $200m+ makes a world of sense.
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The Stripe x Paystack marriage has been years in the making
Founded by Shola Akinlade (CEO) and Ezra Olubi (CTO), Paystack joined Y Combinator in 2016, becoming the first Nigerian startup to do so, according to TechCrunch.
Stripe participated in Y Combinator in 2009 and is one of the “top companies” to graduate from the famous incubator program.
In 2018, Stripe led the $8m Series A funding round in Paystack and — once this deal closes — will be Stripe’s largest acquisition to date.
Stripe has expanded to 17 countries in the last 1.5 years
The Africa opportunity is particularly attractive, with the continent’s internet economy growing 21% YoY, 75% faster than the global average per Stripe.
This is the second major African fintech deal in as many months: WorldRemit acquired Africa-focused remittance firm Sendwave for $500m in August.
Expect more deals for African fintech startups
While Nigeria is the continent’s biggest economy, it is also the most corrupt per Transparency International.
In general, doing business in Africa requires significant on-the-ground expertise. For Stripe, Paystack brings 60k users and gives it a toehold on the continent, which is projected to have half the world’s population by 2050.
(Trends member Packy McCormick has an insightful deep dive on Stripe)