Durban, South Africa – March 10th, 2021. The International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group, has made a sizeable R225 million ($15 million) investment into South African fintech group Adumo. Adumo, previously known as Crossfin Transactional Solutions, brings together three of South Africa’s leading independent payment providers: owning Sureswipe and Innervation Pan African Payments, as well as a major stake in iKhokha alongside the three founders. iKhokha continues to operate as a standalone business whilst still leveraging the group synergies strategically.
Matt Putman, CEO and co-founder of iKhokha, comments: “The investment from IFC into the group demonstrates further high profile international investor appetite to participate and scale the South African fintech story which is extremely positive for local consumers and the SME ecosystem.”
“It has been a long journey for us as founders of iKhokha and has taken many years of hard work, grit and dedication to our cause to remove the friction and fintech barriers in our market. We were fortunate to have patient and supportive long term investors in Crossfin, and it’s awesome to see their and our belief and commitment to the business validated. Our impressive track record delivering rapid growth has assisted in attracting international investors, first Apis and now IFC, to invest in Adumo alongside our long term shareholders.”
“Their commitment is key to our ambitions to continue to scale the iKhokha business and become a household name across all small and previously underserved businesses in South Africa. Our shareholders will be channelling some of the capital raised by Adumo’s IFC investment into our business to continue to build our team, currently 160 strong, so that we can execute on our exciting product roadmap as well as build further brand equity for iKhokha with SMEs in our market.”
Paul Kent, CEO at Adumo, says: “The pandemic and associated impact on consumers and businesses are transforming the face of the payments industry with interest in cashless payment services at an all-time high. All three of our group companies displayed strong growth in 2020, but even more so for iKhokha as retailers, merchants and consumers seek payment services that remove the need for cash while enabling greater choice and convenience in the payments experience. The funds we have raised from our new equity partners will help us roll out new payment innovations and purpose-based lending services to support consumers and retailers as they navigate an uncertain 2021.”
The investment by IFC and the IFC Financial Institutions Growth Fund, a fund managed by IFC’s Asset Management Company, consists of $15 million in preferred shares to fund the company’s growth.
“Through this investment, we will be helping small businesses tap into the digital economy, which is more important now than ever before. Digital payments are often the first step for a small business to build a credit history, which opens the way to access further financial services such as financing to grow the business,” says Sérgio Pimenta, IFC’s Vice President for the Middle East and Africa.
“Supporting small businesses to access finance and financial services affordably and sustainably is a priority for IFC because of their potential to not only grow the economy but also create jobs.”
Crossfin CEO Dean Sparrow has the following to say: ”There is no substitute for dedication and hard work which the iKhokha founders and broader team have demonstrated consistently since we (Crossfin) first backed Matt, Ramsay and Clive in 2012. It takes time and capital to build an amazing business off a solid foundation. The IFC investment provides another validation of the exciting journey we have embarked on, and the additional capital from the international market is a welcome injection to continue the growth story and further support iKhokha in providing a quality offering to an underserved part of the market.“
In 2018, UK-based financial services private equity asset manager Apis Partners invested growth capital in Adumo in partnership with Crossfin. Matteo Stefanel, Managing Partner at Apis, said: “Our investment in Adumo was a testament to the organisation’s potential to grow into a market leader through a combination of organic and inorganic growth. We are delighted to see the continued success be recognised by a leading global institution like the IFC.”