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ITWeb Africa

Tuesday, Sep 18th

Orange adds to Yoco's US$23 million raised

Dayalan Govender

South African FinTech start-up Yoco has raised US$23 million in total investments following a Series B funding round lead by international investment fund Partech, along with the Dutch Development Bank, Quona Capital and Velocity Capital.

Fellow investor Orange Digital Ventures Africa (ODVA), the Orange Group's venture capital investment fund for Africa, describes the situation as "a textbook example for Sub-Saharan Africa".

Marc Rennard, CEO of ODVA said its latest investment in Yoco of an undisclosed amount is part of a drive by the funder to back the best solutions from the region.

"Payment digitalisation for merchants is a major challenge in Africa where financial inclusion is developing more than ever thanks to innovative solutions. Orange is already a leader in financial services in Africa with Orange Money, and it is on the lookout for solutions that can lead to genuine revolutions in use, both amongst customers and merchants. This is the case with Yoco."

Yoco is a mobile Point of Sale (mPOS) company whose software allows merchants to accept card payments using a smartphone or tablet.

The start-up was launched in 2015 and says that currently 27,000 SMEs make use of its product - three quarters of which have never accepted card payments before, according to the company.

Yoco intends to replicate the model in other countries in Sub-Saharan Africa in 2018, but has not divulged how it intends to do this or which markets it is targeting.

Nedbank, Mastercard

News of the increase in investment in Yoco has emerged at the same time as a fresh alliance between Nedbank and Mastercard to launch Qkr!, a new mobile order-ahead and payment platform.

The platform is a web-based, self-service portal that can be integrated to the retailer's POS system to helping them view and manage menus, product inventory and pricing, while providing access to rich, reporting information in real time.

Dayalan Govender, Managing Executive for Card, Payments and Transactional at Nedbank Retail and Business Banking said, "It also links to a full-function online business management portal. This allows merchants to manage stock and suppliers, promote products, issue and redeem vouchers, and even design and deliver a fully-fledged ecommerce store complete with customer engagement and loyalty programmes."

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