Chipper Cash, a pan-African cross-border payments company, has closed $150 million in a Series C extension round led by cryptocurrency exchange platform FTX. The funding comes barely six months after it raised $100 million in its first Series C funding round, piloted by the corporate venture arm of SVB Financial Group, SVB Capital.
SVB Capital reinvested in this extension round, alongside other existing investors including Deciena Capital, Ribbit Capital, Bezos Expeditions, One Way Ventures, and Tribe Capital. New investors, which remain undisclosed at the moment, also participated. The round brings the company’s Series C total raise to $250 million, and its total funding so far to more than $305 million. The round also brings the company to a valuation of $2 billion.
Founded in 2018 by Ham Serunjogi and Maijid Moujaled, Chipper Cash’s platform provides free peer-to-peer cross-border payment services. It currently operates in seven African countries —Ghana, Uganda, Nigeria, Tanzania, Rwanda, South Africa and Kenya.
This year, the company extended its operations to the UK, allowing money transfers from the country to African markets. Expanding its reach further outside the African continent, Chipper Cash, last month, ventured into the U.S to Africa money sending space, putting itself up for competition with established players such as Wise, Money Gram, Sendwave, and Remitly.
Considering how expensive it is to send money to sub-Saharan Africa, Chipper Cash said it is offering the best prices. “Chipper Cash is offering remittances considerably cheaper than anyone else. More important to that is that we are now the first ones that I know honestly to be able to support Africa to the U.S. in terms of sending money,” said Ham Serunjogi, Chipper Cash’s Chief Executive Officer. He mentioned that inflow payment services — sending money from the U.S. to Africa— are now live for users in Nigeria and Uganda. The service will be rolled out to users in Ghana, South Africa and Kenya before the end of the year. The company also has plans to enable sending funds to the U.S. from Africa, with Uganda, South Africa and Kenya being the first to get access next year.
Chipper Cash has also ventured into the world of social payments. Earlier this year, the company was selected by Twitter at the launch of Twitter’s Tip Jar feature to enable African creators to receive payment on its platform. Chipper Cash said it plans to make its Tip Jar integration accessible for users in the U.S. by next year, an obvious growth opportunity for the firm.
For FTX, its investment in Chipper Cash is its first investment in Africa. The company is one of the largest cryptocurrency derivatives exchanges in the world, with a valuation of $25 billion, which it attained after it closed a $420 million round last month.
Commenting on the investment, Sam Bankman-Fried, billionaire entrepreneur and Chief Executive Officer of FTX, said that his company’s partnership with Chipper Cash is to “make money transfer as simple as a text message and accelerate the adoption of crypto within Africa and beyond.” An added benefit of the partnership is that the option to “Pay with Chipper Cash” will be available for Africans who use the FTX platform, facilitated by Chipper Cash’s Network API.
With the new funds, Chipper Cash plans to continue scaling its operations, and maintain its leading position in the African fintech space.