Nigerian credit-led fintech company, Payhippo has acquired Maritime Microfinance Bank (MMFB) to enable its users accept deposits from customers and integrate with the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS).
The company which offers credit facilities for small and medium-sized enterprises will allow merchants to perform all key financial functions from their Payhippo app including the sending and receiving of inter-bank transfers.
What does this acquisition mean for Payhippo?
The acquisition, which is pending approval from the Central Bank of Nigeria, will enable Payhippo to have direct access to NIBSS. It will also oversee the expansion of MFB products and services in line with Payhippo’s goal to reach a wider range of SMEs from different sectors by providing access to quick and seamless financing.
Payhippo will now be able to grow its team with experienced professionals from the MFB team, adding in-depth experience from the banking and finance sector that will be of sustainable value to Payhippo’s growth.
The extensive knowledge from the bank’s employees will help Payhippo continue its mission to expand access to finance for SMEs through digital technology.
“At Payhippo, our mission is to provide seamless financial services for merchants throughout Africa. We are making this investment to enhance products and services for our customers and in turn enable us to reach a wider customer base. We are very excited to work with Maritime Microfinance Bank to revolutionize the SME financial service through digital innovation,” Zach Bijesse, Co-founder and CEO of Payhippo, said.
According to Adetola Atekoja, Chairman of Maritime Microfinance Bank, “Nigeria has an ever-growing need for SME lending solutions to help businesses meet their financial needs. We believe Payhippo is well-positioned to develop new and customized financial products for SMEs in the country.
“The team is incredibly talented, resilient and exudes excellent leadership. I am very excited to welcome them onboard and look forward to supporting them in achieving their goals”, he said.
Zoom in on Maritime
- Maritime Microfinance Bank (MMFB) is a financial institution founded in 2014 which specializes in saving products, deposits, and investments as well as micro and SME loans.
- Maritime’s goal is to provide quality and tailored financial products and services to meet the needs and expectations of every Nigerian. The bank has worked on specific lending products for SMEs to empower entrepreneurs in maritime and other sectors of the micro economy.
Since its launch in August 2019 by Zach Bijesse (CEO), Chioma Okotcha (COO) and Uche Nnadi, Payhippo has disbursed over 25,000 loans to small and medium enterprises in Nigeria. The company earns over $4 million in annualized revenue.
Payhippo has also seen tremendous organizational growth. The company has most recently opened an office in London with Dami Olawoye as its Head of Corporate Finance to attract Africans in the diaspora and global talent that would support the team in Nigeria to grow the fintech’s products and services for SMEs in Nigeria.
Last year, Payhippo raised a $3 million seed to improve access to finance for SMEs in Nigeria.
The company currently has 76 employees in Nigeria, the UK, Portugal, Kenya, and South Africa.