Senegal-based Bitpesa is Improving Africa’s FinTech Scene
Until recently, business transactions both nationally and internationally used to be frustratingly slow, expensive and involves a long number of paperwork because it requires converting local currency into US dollars, passing through multiple banks and then converting it back to its destination currency. BitPesa a senegal-based startup founded by Elizabeth Rossiello in 2013 came to the rescue as it changes the narrative by cutting out all the middlemen and saves conversion and transfer fees. It serves its customers as a digital foreign exchange and payment platform.
The fees charged by BitPesa is much lower compared to other fintech companies, while others charge 10%, BitPesa charges just 1-3% on average, it allows people to make bulk payments and to send money in as little as 1-24 hours and can be used anywhere, on any device to send money in just a few clicks.
Commenting on the quality of services provided by the startup, Bamidele Ayemibo, the CEO of 3T Impex said “BitPesa has enabled us to create a new product to support trade business in Nigeria. They help us source liquidity locally, so we can pay our customers’ suppliers in China and the US. BitPesa delivers on their promise”
BitPesa’s headquarters is in Nairobi Kenya, with offices and staff in Lagos, London, Luxembourg, Dakar and Madrid. By the end of May 2014, BitPesa launched its beta site with a service that allowed users to send money to any mobile wallet in Kenya and by the end of that year, Kenyan customers could buy bitcoins on the platform. It launched in Tanzania in May 2015, allowing users in Tanzania to send Tanzanian shillings to three mobile networks in the country. In November 2015, BitPesa launched in Nigeria and Uganda, launched its services in Ghana in 2018 and has since then covered 85+ countries and it boasts of about 26,000+ users in about 1,200,000 transactions in Africa.
By January 2017, BitPesa had closed a $2.5 million Series A funding round to focus on becoming the largest licensed payment company in the UK, Europe and Africa that offers real-time settlement at wholesale FX rates to frontier markets and by August 2017, they had raised $10 million Series A funding led by Greycroft Partners. In 2018, the startup acquired TransferZero, an online money transfer company in Spain.
BitPesa maintains its culture in facilitating the improvement of the FinTech space by adopting various unique approaches.