South African tech group Yoco raises $16 million in funding

South African-based Point of Sale payments provider, Yoco, has raised a Series B round of US$16 million (R245 million) in funding, led by Partech, a Venture Capital firm based in Silicon Valley, Europe and Africa.

This was supported with participation from Orange Digital Ventures, FMO (The Dutch Development Bank) and existing Series A investors Accion Frontier Inclusion Fund, managed by Quona Capital, and Velocity Capital.

Yoco builds tools and services to help small businesses accept card payments and manage their day to day activities.

Since launching its first product in late 2015, a card reader that connects with a merchant’s smartphone or tablet, the company has grown its base to over 27,000 South African small businesses, 75% of which had never accepted cards previously.

The company is adding more than 1,500 new merchants every month, making it South Africa’s largest and fastest growing independent card payments provider by number of merchants, more than tripling in size since raising its Series A in early 2017.

Yoco said it will leverage its Series B to grow its network of small business merchants, invest in product development, operational scalability and attracting top-tier fintech talent.

“Only 7% of South African small businesses accept card payments, despite South Africa having a card penetration of 75%, with debit cards being the dominant wallet in the country. There are over 1 million small businesses in South Africa ripe for card acceptance,” it said.

The latest round of funding brings the company’s total investment to US$23 million (R354 million), it said.

“Yoco has long-term ambitions to be a pan-African player. The company believes the convergence of digital payments and software driven value-added services is inevitable in Africa. It has explored various Sub-Saharan markets in the past year, including running pilots in two markets.”

Read: Mastercard brings card payments to 15,000 SMEs in South Africa

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South African tech group Yoco raises $16 million in funding