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South African fintech company raises R1.23 billion

SA fintech company Yoco has raised R1.23 billion to accelerate product development and reach more merchants in South Africa and beyond.

Yoco was founded in 2014 by four friends — Katlego Maphai, Carl Wazen, Bradley Wattrus, and Lungisa Matshoba. The company offers payment tools to small businesses and micro-merchants in South Africa. Its portfolio includes card machines, online payments, and business tools like the Yoco app.

In October last year, Yoco launched its first standalone card machine that does not require a smart device or Bluetooth to enable payments.

Dubbed the Yoco Neo, it comes with an all-day battery, a built-in SIM card, and unlimited data, which enables successful transactions without a dependency on power or Wi-Fi. The Neo’s SIM card is equipped to roam and connect to the strongest available network provider and can process payments via tap, swipe, and chip-and-pin. The Neo has helped Yoco to grow its presence in South Africa further, said CEO Katlego Maphai.

“Today, we are the preferred digital payments solution for over 150,000 small and micro merchants across South Africa, processing a billion dollars on the platform,” he said.

Yoco announced that it had a successful Series C funding round of $83M (R1.23 billion) to accelerate product development and reach more merchants.

“It is the largest single investment ever raised by a South African payments company and one of the largest on the continent,” said Maphai. He said the pandemic had accelerated the consumer shift towards digital.

“Our mission is to support merchants through that transition, to ensure that they continue trading and growing. We have set ourselves a goal to reach 1 million merchants within the next four years,” he said.

“This new capital injection translates into an acceleration of access for small businesses in our region and beyond, bringing our vision of open commerce forward.”



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