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Interswitch launches $10million e-payment growth fund

By , ITWeb
Nigeria , 17 Feb 2015

Interswitch launches $10million e-payment growth fund

Interswitch, a leading pan-African integrated payment, processing and transaction switching company, has launched a new US$10 million 'ePayment Growth Fund'.

The fund is intended to serve as a catalyst for funding innovation and disruptive business concepts within the payment industry across Africa. Interswitch is seeking to collaborate with African entrepreneurs and start-up businesses developing innovative products and services that empower Africans to participate in the emerging payment ecosystems currently transforming business on the continent.

The fund has made its first investment in 'Africa Courier Express' (ACE), formerly A-Post, a Nigeria-based and Africa focused technology driven ecommerce logistics and warehousing firm.

ACE has developed and rolled out a new cutting-edge technology to track, deliver and collect payments seamlessly for and on-behalf of its clients. The company will receive an initial investment of US$850,000 from the Interswitch ePayment Growth Fund to enable management execute its West Africa expansion plans with the potential to access additional funding.

The investment by Interswitch represents the start of a new partnership model to deepen the ecommerce space across Africa.

ACE was launched in November 2013 by Tunde Kehinde and Ercin Eksin, two experienced professionals with strong market experience in running successful retail and logistics businesses in emerging markets. The company currently provides reliable third-party logistics, tracking and pay-on-delivery (cash and electronic) services for retail businesses in Nigeria.

Since launch, ACE has established physical presence in 5 cities across Nigeria, 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.

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."

Tunde Kehinde and Ercin Eksin, Founders, ACE, added:"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."

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