CinetPay, a payment gateway that enables e-merchants and merchants to accept mobile money and other forms of payment in French-speaking Africa, has secured initial funding of $ 2.4 million.
Pan-African venture capital fund 4DX Ventures and unicorn Flutterwave are the round investors, and that means two particular markers for the pair. CinetPay is their first investment in the French-speaking region.
CinetPay was founded by Idriss Monthe and Daniel Dindji in 2016, after CEO Monthe encountered payment collection issues during his previous startup, CinetCore, a site specializing in selling domain names online.
âWhen we launched our website to sell domain names online, we had difficulty collecting payments online after setting up many PayPal accounts that were blocked by PayPal because we were in Africa, âthe CEO told TechCrunch.
âBut the cost we are making is that in French-speaking Africa, 80% of the population has a mobile money account. And between 10-20% of people have bank accounts and credit cards. We decided to explore the realm of mobile money and create a payment gateway, where we aggregate all mobile money available in French-speaking Africa to enable merchants to accept online payments.
The Ivorian startup acts as an online and point-of-sale payment solution allowing merchants to process payments from more than 130 different payment operators – mobile-money, bank cards, wallets – in nine French-speaking African countries: CÃ´te d’Ivoire, Senegal, Cameroon, Mali, Burkina Faso, Togo, Congo, Guinea and Benin.
On the platform, merchants must open an account then download their KYC, integrate Cinet APIs and start collecting payments. Each merchant pays an annual subscription fee of $ 20 per year and Cinet collects a commission of 1 to 1.5% on each transaction made.
Merchants on the platform range from e-commerce platforms and digital utilities to insurance companies and schools. Since its creation, more than 12,000 traders have registered on the platform. Nevertheless, Monthe admits that only 400 of them are active. When asked why the company has a low retention rate, he said most active traders opened multiple accounts in the past before sticking to just one..
It’s also possible that CinetPay’s numbers reflect the presence of larger payment gateways such as MFS Africa and PawaPay that target the 562 million registered mobile money accounts in sub-Saharan Africa.
Yet the company did well. So far, it has processed over 30 million transactions for these 400 active traders, processing approximately $ 12.5 million in transactions per month.
âWe have been following the French-speaking African market for some time now and have been impressed by CinetPay’s ambitious goal to digitize payments across the region, âsaid Walter Baddoo, co-founder and general partner of 4DX Ventures. âWe look forward to partnering with the CinetPay team alongside our longtime portfolio company, Flutterwave, to help usher in the next phase of digital payments in the Francophone region. “
Flutterwave’s involvement in the cycle is a continuation of the unicorn’s partnership with CinetPay that began in 2019, the two companies said in a statement. This is also a diversification from the mobile money movements that Flutterwave recently made by signing a partnership with MTN to allow companies in certain countries to receive MTN mobile money (MoMo) through the gateway.
Flutterwave CEO Olugbenga “GB” Agboola said the investment in CinetPay is an example of the duo’s shared vision to “simplify payments on the continent”.
CinetPay said the seed investment gives it the opportunity to intensify its sales and marketing efforts in the West and Central African markets.
Monthe argued that despite the size of the company relatively smaller than that of its competitors, its geographic presence, its technology and its mission to âsimplify payment and make it accessible via all channelsâ set it apart from other players. Ultimately, the plan is to be the primary payment gateway over the next four years.
âOur vision is to be the leading payment aggregator in French-speaking Africa by 2025. in terms of our geographic presence in 15 French-speaking African countries. First of all in terms of innovation first in terms of market share, âhe remarked in a grand manner.