Nigerian fintech startup Payhippo acquires Maritime Microfinance Bank

Nigeria’s credit-led SME fintech has announced the proposed acquisition of Maritime Microfinance Bank (MFB), a financial institution specialising in saving products, demand deposits, investments, and micro and SME loans. The deal is subject to regulatory approval.

Payhippo co-founders: L-R: Zach Bijesse (CEO), Chioma Okotcha (COO), and Uche Nnadi (CTO).

Maritime Microfinance Bank provides quality and tailored financial products and services to meet the needs and expectations of every Nigerian. The bank has worked on specific lending products for SMEs to empower entrepreneurs in maritime and other sectors of the micro economy.

Commenting on the deal, Zach Bijesse, Co-founder and CEO of Payhippo, mentioned that the deal would enable Payhippo to have direct access to Nigeria’s Inter-bank Settlement System (NIBSS).

Through this acquisition, Payhippo will grow its team with experienced professionals from the MFB team, adding in-depth experience from the banking and finance sector that will be of sustainable value to Payhippo’s growth. The extensive knowledge from the bank’s employees will help Payhippo continue its mission to expand access to finance for SMEs through digital technology.

“At Payhippo, our mission is to provide seamless financial services for merchants throughout Africa. We are making this investment to enhance products and services for our customers and, in turn, enable us to reach a wider customer base. We are very excited to work with Maritime Microfinance Bank to revolutionise the SME financial service through digital innovation,” said Zach Bijesse, Co-founder and CEO of Payhippo.

“Nigeria has an ever-growing need for SME lending solutions to help businesses meet their financial needs. We believe Payhippo is well-positioned to develop new and customised financial products for SMEs in the country. The team is incredibly talented, resilient and exudes excellent leadership. I am very excited to welcome them onboard and look forward to supporting them in achieving their goals.” Adetola Atekoja, Chairman of Maritime Microfinance Bank.

So far, Payhippo has disbursed over 25,000 loans to small and medium enterprises in Nigeria. In the third quarter of the year, Payhippo distributed 6,726 loans seeing a 39% increase from its 4,842 loan originations in quarter two. The company earns over $4m in annualised revenue.

Payhippo has also seen tremendous organizational growth. The company has most recently opened an office in London to attract Africans in the diaspora and global talent that would support the team in Nigeria to grow the fintech’s products and services for SMEs in Nigeria.

In London, the start-up has hired Dami Olawoye as its Head of Corporate Finance to support the fintech to tap into global capital markets that enable them to fund its loan books for its credit-led business model. The company currently has 76 employees in Nigeria, the UK, Portugal, Kenya, and South Africa.

Source: Business Insider