Africa’s leading digital payments and commerce company, Interswitch Limited, has successfully completed a 100 per cent acquisition of Value Added Network Solutions Limited (VANSO). VANSO is a market leading mobile and security-focused financial technology provider, delivering cutting edge and innovative solutions in Africa.
The transaction has received all relevant regulatory and shareholder approvals, including the approval of the Securities and Exchange Commission. The transaction will result in VANSO’s highly successful mobile banking, SMS and security business lines being fully integrated into Interswitch’s digital commerce and technology operations in Nigeria, and across the continent where they can leverage on Interswitch’s geographic expansion.
According to Interswitch, highlights of the acquisition includes that “the current management team of VANSO will be absorbed into the Interswitch management organisation. VANSO CEO, Denis O’Brien will lead the Interswitch mobile payment’s business unit with a mandate to drive aggressive organic and geographic growth. Denis brings nearly two decades of financial technology experience in Africa.”
Interswitch is presently under severe competition challenge from new entrants like Flutterwave, eTranzact and others. Yet, its product has barely changed. Lacking this innovation, organic growth has not come. This acquisition of VANSO for N15 billion will provide growth and innovation to the digital payment pioneer headquartered in Nigeria.
Helios investment group in London invested in Interswitch few years ago. The firm had explored possible ways of exit but that has not come at a reported valuation of $1 billion. Understanding that exit is not coming, they have decided to pursue growth at all means.
In 2014, Interswitch acquired Kenya’s Paynet Group (they later rebranded to Interswitch East Africa in 2015) and this created a combined network of over 150 financial institutions, thereby strengthening Interswitch’s hold in the East African market.
This is the only way Interswitch will stay relevant through scale as Paypal expands into Africa.