Nigerian payments company Paga has been selected for the Ping An Cloud Accelerator programme in Shenzhen, China, gaining the chance to pilot products with the global firm.
Founded in 2009, Paga provides Nigerians with safe and convenient ways of making payments, allowing money to be sent to any phone number for the beneficiary to redeem at a Paga agent or at an ATM via a cardless withdrawal.
It raised a US$10million growth funding round in 2018, and is now expanding across Africa, having acquired Apposit, a United States (US)-based technology company with operations in Ethiopia, earlier this year.
With this international expansion in mind, Paga applied and was accepted into the fourth cohort of the Ping An Cloud Accelerator, a five-month programme created by Ping An Group, one of the world’s largest insurance and financial institutions. Nine other companies, from China, the US, Spain, and Israel, made the cut.
The highly-selective programme, with an acceptance rate of only two per cent, focuses on five verticals: fintech, e-health, auto-tech, prop-tech and smart city. Participating companies are growth-stage businesses that will explore collaborations with Ping An subsidiaries.
“We are proud to be chosen to be part of the Ping An Cloud Accelerator. Our relationship with the Ping An Group offers us the forum to experiment with cutting-edge tools within their global portfolio. The programme, which focuses on companies with already strong traction also presents the opportunity for our team to work closely with other emerging leaders in technology, finance, health, and other sectors,” said Paga co-founder and director of business development Jay Alabraba.
“The timing is also great, given our expansion to new markets and the introduction of more services on Paga.”
Jerry Quan, general manager of the Ping An Cloud Accelerator, said he was excited to have Paga as part of its latest cohort.
“Their goal of building formidable emerging markets focused payments business resonates with us, and we are impressed with their progress to date. There are many opportunities to build synergies with Ping An’s technology subsidiaries and external corporate partners, and our engagement with the Paga team thus far has been great. I expect that this is the start of larger collaborations to come between our organisations,” Quan said.
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