The recent news of iconic investor, Tim Draper investment in Paga – the mobile payment firm in Nigeria- tells us that Nigeria is carefully being watched by the external investors. The truth is that foreigners know the real businesses from the ones that cause so much opportunity pains to us. With this investment, watch out for more from U.S, Europe and even China. It is just a start as Nigeria’s startup environment is getting exciting. It is left to the government to make sure we have a strong intellectual property rights system as that is what people invest into. Without it, there will not be need for innovation.
====The press release from Pagatech site====
Today, Paga announces an investment in the company by Tim Draper, a well known Venture Capitalist based in the United States. Paga, the pioneering mobile money platform in Nigeria, launched in February 2011 after receiving approval from the Central Bank of Nigeria. The company’s initial set of products are delivered to meet critical needs of the Nigerian public: ability to transfer money fast and reliably, pay bills, top-up airtime or pay merchants safely. Paga delivers these services via the mobile phone and internet.
Mr. Draper, who is the Founder and a Managing Director of Draper Fisher Jurvetson, is known for investing in early stage companies and in emerging markets. Some of the successes under his belt include investments in Skype, Baidu (Chinese search engine), and Hotmail (acquired by Microsoft). Draper’s original suggestion to use “viral marketing” in web-based e-mail to geometrically spread an Internet product to its market was instrumental to the successes of Hotmail and Yahoo! Mail, and has been adopted as a standard marketing technique by hundreds of businesses.
Speaking about his investment, Draper said “My decision to make this personal investment is premised on the simple fact that I believe in the bold vision of the Paga team and I trust in their ability to execute. Paga is a great innovation which will simplify life for millions of people in Nigeria and beyond. I look forward to the company being a major African success story that serves as an example for many more to come.”
Tayo Oviosu, Founder and CEO of Paga, added, “We are receiving significant attention from investors both local and international, but I must say that we are quite fortunate to have Mr. Draper as an investor in Paga. His support and advice has been invaluable towards getting us to where we are today, and we continue to enjoy the access he provides to an extensive network of business partners around the world.“
Paga’s mission is to deliver innovative and universal access to financial services to a larger segment of the Nigerian population. Paga is available on all mobile networks and is delivered to customers in collaboration with strong local banks, retailers and various other private and public sector organisations.