Comviva, the global leader in mobility solutions, has announced its divestment of stake in TerraPay, for an undisclosed amount to a consortium of global investors.
Prime Ventures and Partech Partners are co-investing in TerraPay, along with IFC, a member of the World Bank Group. Apart from acquiring Comviva shares, the investors have further invested $9.6 million in TerraPay to fund the company’s expansion.
TerraPay, a company incubated by Comviva in 2015, provides Payment Infrastructure Services that help people around the world to transfer money quickly, safely, and affordably. The company does this by enabling payment service providers such as banks, mobile money operators, money transfer operators or other payment providers to instantly connect to each other at a low cost. Since its start in 2015, TerraPay has acquired more than 25 licenses to operate in over 60 countries in Africa, Asia and Europe and is expanding globally.
Ambar Sur, Founder & Chief Executive Officer of TerraPay, said: “We believe in our mission to address financial inclusion by making real time national, regional and global payments accessible to everyone. We are excited by this validation from our marquee investors, and look forward to growing rapidly and reaching most of the world’s underserved in the coming years.”
The new consortium of investors will enable TerraPay to execute its strategy to scale operations as a hub enabling interoperable, real-time, cross-border transactions between telecom and mobile money operators. This will help TerraPay scale its payment infrastructure services to clear and settle international payments faster, enable instant payments across operators’ interoperable networks, as well as remove a significant barrier for transfers to mobile money accounts. By enabling the electronic low-cost transfer of funds, the project will garner a greater share of formal remittance payments.
Manoranjan Mohapatra, Chief Executive Officer, Comvivacommented, “We are dedicated to incubate new start-up models as a key part of our Corporate business strategy. We are proud to be part of the progress that TerraPay has made over the last five years. The driving philosophy of all our incubations is to create significant value for our customers, community, shareholders and employees. Through the TerraPay initiative we have demonstrated our ability to successfully incubate and attract marquee investors. The solutions we invest in should create value within the Comviva enterprise, or grow on their own to achieve their product vision; while generating worthwhile value for the shareholders. TerraPay’s forward path is in alignment with that underlying purpose.”
“Market for international money transactions has changed rapidly over the past few years. The evolving regulatory framework constrained the growth of TerraPay and made it imperative to step out of Comviva fold. We have taken a strategic decision to divest TerraPay business and are confident that this change is in the best interest of all the stakeholders. We shall continue to take such strategic initiatives and leverage our start-up factory for fueling future growth,” further added Manoranjan Mohapatra.
Pieter Welten, a Partner at Prime Ventures said: “We identified TerraPay as an attractive investment opportunity. Led by a strong and experienced management team, TerraPay has a unique market position and strong economic moat comprising of licenses and regulatory approvals, a world-class digital payments platform and global network of partners. Our investment should allow the company to further expand and scale its operations.”
Paulo de Bolle, IFC’s Global Director, Financial Institutions Group, said: “By adding TerraPay to IFC’s growing fintech investment portfolio, we are supporting the company to grow and expand, while helping to lower the costs and streamline the process to send money home. Fintechs like TerraPay play a vital role in increasing financial inclusion in emerging markets.”
“We are excited to join efforts with an outstanding group of investors and a superb team for the next part of TerraPay’s journey, said Cyril Collon, General Partner at Partech Africa. “We have been impressed by the cutting-edge platform TerraPay’s teams have developed. This platform will play a key role in reaching the interoperability goals necessary for true financial inclusion. The impact for end-customers is already massive in terms of quality of service, reliability and speed.”
The TerraPay story is a reflection of Comviva’s core people philosophy. The company constantly encourages its employees to incubate exciting new ideas, and flame the spirit of leadership and entrepreneurship within them. As a global leader, it is part of Comviva’s greater vision to bring in innovative digital experiences across the world.
TerraPay has been advised by the FinTech M&A team of specialized investment bank Kempen & Co and Van Doorne, a law firm based in The Netherlands.