Visa to Invest $200 Million in Interswitch Ahead of $1 Billion IPO

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Interswitch is set to receive a huge financial boost ahead of its proposed dual-listing IPO on the Nigerian Stock Exchange and London Stock Exchange in 2020.

Prominent financial giant, Visa is said to be on the verge of investing about $200 million to acquire a stake in Interswitch. According to Sky News, the two companies are in advanced talks about the transaction and it could be announced as early as this week.

Should this deal pull through, Visa would be getting a 20% stake in the Africa-focused electronic payments and infrastructure company – which will see it become a key investor in the company.

MasterCard Investment a Boost To Jumia IPO

Beyond the financial boost, the Visa investment is very important for Interswitch’s planned IPO. The IPO is slated for 2020 – although the timeline has not yet been made known. The latest investment will make the company viable enough for investors to throw in their money when it does go public.

Initially, the company’s listing was set to be done in 2016, but did not take place due to the economic recession suffered in Nigeria during that period. The IPO would have made Interswitch Africa’s first tech company to achieve a billion-dollar-plus unicorn valuation status – but it didn’t go through.

But, it still could become Africa’s first, since the ‘Africanness‘ of Jumia is considered debatable by some.

With this renewed interest in listing on the LSE and NSE as well as the investment, Interswitch’s potential unicorn status might just be few month away.

Founded in 2002, Interswitch now sell its products – point-of-sale terminals, online consumer payment platforms and its own card, Verve, across 23 countries and also has presence abroad from partnerships.

The deal could also see a strategic partnership to foster the fast-growing African digital payment market as well as provide Interswitch with an opportunity to leverage Visa’s vast network of markets for expansion.

Recently, the platform acquired a 60% stake in eClat through the purchase of shares from current shareholders in a move to foray into the healthcare sector in Nigeria and eventually in Africa.

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