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Tencent leads a $48M Serie B in SA payments gateway startup Ozow

Ozow caters to over 47 million active bank account holders across South Africa


Ozow a digital payments gateway has raised a successful Serie B that provides alternative payment solutions to millions of merchants and consumers. Chinese giant Tencent is the lead investor behind this Serie B, which also attracted participation from Endeavor Catalyst, and Endeavor Harvest Fund. The investment go towards driving the fintech regulation while working closely with all stakeholders involved. Ozow will also double its team from the present 100 to 250. Part of the funds will go towards acquisitions and expansion in the Ghana, Namibia, Kenya and Nigeria markets.

Ozow was started in 2014 by founder and CEO Thomas Pays to purposefully drive financial inclusion through open banking. The company allows consumers gain access to internet banking platforms when transacting online.

Ozow caters to over 47 million active bank account holders. The startup has experienced 100% year-on-year growth of its business and processes over $100 million transactional volumes monthly across its network of thousands of merchants.

Merchants only require a bank account and smart-enabled device to receive payments. Among Ozow’s clients are lead enterprise companies such as Vodacom, MTN, Takealot, Shoprite Group and Uber. The payments gateway remains free to individual users within the first 12 months. They can process $65,000 worth of value every month. Ozow charges distributors and payment service resellers of its product. The percentage fee varies between 1.5% to 2.5% for each successful transaction.

In 2019, Ozow completed a $2.5 million Serie A. The company has experienced 100% year-on-year growth for its businesses. Over $100 million in transaction volume are completed every month. Between 2016 and 2017, Ozow raised $1.2 million cumulatively in its angel and seed rounds.

Find out more about Ozow at


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