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SA’s PayGate bought by Kenya payment processor

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PayGate has been bought by the Direct Pay Online Group, (DPO), the leading online payments processor in East Africa.

The deal is being structured as a merger between the two, and follows the recent investment in the DPO Group by Apis Growth Fund I, a private equity fund managed by Apis Partners LLP, a private equity asset manager focused on financial services in the growth markets of Africa and Asia.

PayGate was founded in 1999 and has more than 15 years of experience in providing payment processing and merchant services throughout Southern Africa. The Company enables quick, secure online payments through a wide variety of payment solutions, and supports a large array of digital payment methods.

PayGate has expanded aggressively into the rest of Africa and currently offers  online acquiring in 24 African countries.  As with the DPO Group, PayGate holds PCI DSS Level 1 Certification, the highest security certification in the payment cards industry.

DPO was formerly known as 3G Direct Pay. The combination of 3G Direct Pay and PayGate under the DPO Group will provide a single contact point for merchants looking to accept online payments across the continent. Merchants will have access to more than 60 DPO employees across the continent to provide development solutions and customer support in local languages.

“The merger is a landmark transaction for PayGate and a reward for our dedication to building the best-in-class platform and maintaining excellent customer service for our merchants,” said Peter Harvey, Managing Director of PayGate. “This is also an incredible opportunity to support our clients’ expansion across the African continent through additional on-the-ground coverage across the Group’s countries of operation.”

“The PayGate team has grown a fantastic business, centred on providing the best online payments processing solution to its merchants,” said Eran Feinstein, the DPO Group CEO.  “This merger allows the DPO Group to build a pan-African payments platform with a presence across eight countries and processing ability in a further 24 countries. Together, the Group will accelerate the growth of online payments in Africa, as we seek to empower every person and organization to have the option to pay and be paid online anywhere, anytime, and by any mode of payment.”

Offer Gat, DPO Group Chairman, said: “The merger with PayGate enables the DPO Group to offer a wider range of products and services across the whole of East and Southern Africa, and provides the Group with a strong foothold in the large South African e-commerce market. The Group will be in a better position to serve the growing number of African and global multinationals looking to serve consumers anywhere on the African continent.”

Following the transaction, Peter Harvey will continue to lead the DPO Group’s activities in the South Africa Common Monetary Area, and will work closely with Eran Feinstein to grow the Group’s business in its current markets and in new regions over the coming years.

Africa News

Africa gets broadband boost

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ITU and Nexpedience, a supplier of proprietary point-to-multipoint broadband infrastructure, are partnering to bring broadband access to Africa.

Under the terms of the deal, Nexpedience will provide 180 new Expedience base stations worth USD 1 million, to be deployed in six nations across the continent. The first nation to benefit from the new infrastructure is Burundi, with deployments also planned for Djibouti, Burkina Faso, Mali, Rwanda and Swaziland.

Designed to withstand extreme meteorological conditions and capable of providing up to 32 kilometres of sector coverage, Nexpedience’s base stations have been specifically designed for rural deployment.

ITU’s Wireless Broadband Network in Africa project aims to develop and implement wireless broadband connectivity and applications that will provide free or low-cost digital access for schools, hospitals, and under-served populations in rural and remote areas Africa-wide.

At the signing of the agreement in Geneva, Brahima Sanou, Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Development Bureau (BDT) emphasized the need to make developing countries part of the global broadband revolution: ‚”This partnership represents another important element in ITU’s efforts to bring broadband technology to the world even in the poorest nations. I am confident that this new partnership will accelerate broadband uptake right across the African continent, bringing the power of high-speed connectivity to users everywhere, from big cities to small villages.‚”

Kiriako Vergos, CEO of Nexpedience said: ‚”Giving access to broadband technology to underserved populations in Africa is of great importance to us. There are enormous benefits to be derived from a ‚’broadband-seed’ deployment strategy, and we decided to partner with ITU because we know that the organization has the team in place to get it done.‚”

ITU Secretary-General Dr Hamadoun Tour√© said the new agreement is a ‚”major step forward in getting Africa connected‚”. Dr Tour√© led the establishment of the Broadband Commission for Digital Development in 2010, which has the aim of putting broadband at the heart of the global development agenda.

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Nokia backs tech hubs for developing world

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Nokia, AppCampus and infoDev are collaborating with mobile innovation hubs across Africa, Asia and Latin America to act as scouts for local talent.

Nokia, AppCampus and infoDev, a global innovation program of the World Bank, have announced a collaboration with mobile innovation hubs across Africa, Asia and Latin America – a move that will empower these hubs to act as scouts and agents for local talent, fast-tracking their access to AppCampus funding.

AppCampus was established in 2012 as a mobile application accelerator program managed by Aalto University in Finland. With an 18 million euro joint investment between Microsoft and Nokia, the aim is to foster mobile application development on Windows Phone and any other Nokia platform.

The announcement earmarks part of that investment fund for twenty six awards per annum for the best mobile innovation ideas to be made via the mobile innovation hub network, starting with infoDev’s mobile application labs in South Africa, Kenya, Armenia and Vietnam, as well as mobile application laboratories in Egypt (TIEC), Nigeria (CC Hub) and Mexico. The value of each award ranges from 20,000 Euro (US$ 26,000) to 70,000 Euro (US$ 90,000) depending on the complexity of the solution or business model behind the idea.

‚”By working jointly with the mobile innovation hubs, we are able to connect more effectively with local developers in emerging markets and provide support in terms of funding, especially for locally relevant innovations,‚” says Pekka Sivonen, Head of AppCampus. ‚”Although the criteria to access the AppCampus funding remains the same, with ideas needing to be original, competitive and scalable, the advantage is faster processing and the mentorship provided by these innovation hubs.‚”

The hubs and mLabs will be responsible for scouting talent and vetting ideas to be submitted to the global pool. infoDev’s mLabs foster regional entrepreneurship, employment and competitiveness by providing open spaces where developers can find training, mentoring, technical expertise and access to financing. In a short time, mLab-supported startups have brought over 120 commercial apps to market The best new entries from this network will compete against each other each quarter for the available awards.

‚”Nokia, working closely with infoDev, has supported the establishment and operation of a number of mLabs across emerging markets in support of local developers,‚” says Jussi Hinkkanen, vice president corporate relations for Nokia Middle East and Africa. ‚”The AppCampus collaboration showcases our commitment to strengthening the growing mLab network around the world and infoDev’s vision of supporting emerging market entrepreneurs in conquering local, regional and global markets‚”.

The official launch of the program took place during the mobile stream at the Global Forum on Innovation & Technology Entrepreneurship in East London, South Africa, organized by infoDev and the South African Department of Science & Technology. A key theme of the Forum is how innovation can lead to high-growth entrepreneurship which creates sustainable jobs. Valerie D’Costa, infoDev’s Program Manager says, ‚”The AppCampus initiative fits with the philosophy of infoDev of supporting innovative entrepreneurs from developing countries. We want to support those who can excel with some level of mentorship, skills training and seed financing. We provide potential job-creators better access to markets, which is what we are all about.‚”

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