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Nigerian payments firm Paystack is used by more than 17,000 customers, from small start-ups to large government agencies, to securely collect online and offline payments and grow their business. According to the company, its system handles more than $20m worth of payments every month.

Paystack was set up in 2015 by two software developers, Shola Akinlade and Ezra Olubi, and has raised more than $9m in funding to date, with a $1.3m seed investment round in December 2016 and an $8m Series A round in August 2018. Among its backers are global payments firms Stripe and Visa.

There have also been some important product innovations over the past year, with Paystack becoming the first payments company to introduce automated chargebacks in Nigeria, thus reducing the percentage of transaction volumes that merchants lose to chargebacks.

“When our customers grow, we grow too, so our strategy has always revolved around building tools that help our customers do business better and become more profitable,” says Shola, CEO and Co-founder. “Our customer obsession has helped ensure that many Paystack merchants have grown their business by double digits and survived tough economic conditions. By extension, it’s helped Paystack grow too.”

To date, the company has built up a market share of around 15% in the Nigerian online payments space. Its current growth strategy includes plans to offer its services in more countries around the continent. “In five years, our goal is to expand and power growth businesses in at least five other countries,” says Shola. “To do this, we intend to hire the best talent from across Africa who can help us build solutions that not only help businesses collect payments, but also help them grow and become profitable. Currently, we’re a small team of 35, but we’ll likely keep hiring and growing as the need arises.”