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MFS Africa Acquires Beyonic to Bring Cross-border Payments to African SMEs

Pan-African cross-border payments leader MFS Africa has announced that it has acquired Beyonic, a digital payments management provider of business services for SMEs, fintechs, and social impact entities across Africa.

MFS Africa connects more than 200 million mobile wallets on the continent through one API. Beyonic focusses on domestic payments and collections coupled with secure front-end business functionality.

This deal, which is subject to regulatory approval by the Fair Competition Commission in Tanzania, will provide the growing micro, small, and medium enterprise segment across Africa with the ability to manage digital transactions with individuals and businesses around the world.

“Africa has a strong base of connected young entrepreneurs and businesspeople who are bringing fresh ideas to the table, in order to create prosperity for themselves and for their communities on the continent,” said Dare Okoudjou, founder and CEO of MFS Africa. “With the MFS Africa Hub, we have been creating new digital pathways between mobile money users in Africa and the global economy. With the acquisition of Beyonic, we can now put this digital payment network at the service of those entrepreneurs whether they are SMEs, fintechs, or social impact organisations. By combining MFS Africa’s and Beyonic’s assets and capabilities, we can unleash the wealth of opportunity that business within Africa and with Africa presents to the wider world.”

Extended access and functionality will become available to customers of both organisations in the second half of 2020. In practice, this means that a Uganda-based organisation that uses Beyonic to manage digital payments to and from Ugandan mobile wallets and bank accounts will be able to reach additional markets directly and seamlessly using the same interface, leveraging the pan-African and global connections of the MFS Africa Hub.

Luke Kyohere, founder, Executive Chairman, and CTO of Beyonic, said, “MFS Africa’s mission to make borders matter less in digital payments aligns perfectly with Beyonic’s vision of helping enterprises deliver fast, affordable fintech solutions to the last mile, where they are needed the most. Together, we will give our customers access to the broadest and deepest digital payment network in Africa.” Mr. Kyohere continued, “I’m excited about the possibilities this partnership brings, especially when you factor in MFS Africa’s recent partnership with Visa, enabling them to issue Visa payment credentials across their pan-African network. It’s a new dawn for SMEs in Africa.”

SMEs contribute up to 40% of national income (GDP) in emerging economies, according to the World Bank. However, they face a number of growth constraints in emerging markets, including the ability to scale operations domestically, continentally, and internationally. The new product offerings enabled by this acquisition will resolve some of these issues by enabling organisations to transfer funds securely and transparently across regions.

LUN Partners Group served as financial and strategic advisor and Dahui Lawyers served as legal counsel to MFS Africa and its Board of Directors in this transaction. ENS Africa also provided local law counsel and due diligence to MFS Africa on the transaction. Beyonic was advised by financial advisor ICON Corporate Finance and legal counsel Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP.

Monica Shupikai Simmons, Director of Tech Investment Bank, ICON Corporate Finance, who led the transaction said, “We are delighted to have advised Beyonic on its sale to MFS Africa. This deal is one of the most significant cross-border African FinTech M&A transactions in recent years. Global financial connectivity to Africa’s micro and SME sector has never been more important. The combined company will provide a seamless financial platform which opens unparalleled digital commerce opportunities across Africa and beyond.”

 

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