Paga receives institutional investment from Goodwell West Africa

Lagos/ Hilversum, May 5th 2011 – Goodwell West Africa, a microfinance investment vehicle co-managed by investment manager Goodwell Investments and Alitheia Capital in Nigeria, announces today its investment in Paga – a mobile payments company based in Lagos Nigeria.

Paga is a pioneering mobile money service launched in Nigeria in February 2011, after receiving approval from the Central Bank of Nigeria. With Paga, any person with a mobile phone or access to the internet is able to send cash, purchase airtime credit, pay bills, pay retailers and perform a variety of other transactions. Paga operates via a nationwide network of dedicated agents, which include several hundred agents associated with DStv, the leading provider of multi-channel pay television in Africa, with whom Paga has an exclusive partnership.

Paga’s mission is to deliver innovative and universal access to financial services for those underserved or excluded, especially payments and savings via the mobile phone. Their approach to mobile payments is a multi-stakeholder one - Paga is available on all mobile networks and is delivered to customers in collaboration with strong local banks (including micro-finance institutions), retailers and various other private and public sector organisations.
Goodwell Investments is an innovative impact investment firm focused on access to finance and sustainable development. It invests in entrepreneurial microfinance organisations on a socially and commercially sustainable basis. Its microfinance investments are focussed on two regions: India and West Africa. In West Africa, Goodwell works in partnership with Alitheia Capital based out of Lagos.

Els Boerhof, Partner at Goodwell: “Our fund was founded on the principal belief that improving access to affordable financial services for people at the ‘Base of the Pyramid’ contributes to sustainable development. This can best be achieved by developing and scaling up entrepreneurial institutions aimed at banking the unbanked. We believe that Paga will achieve a substantial social return as well as an attractive financial result. Providing the poor with savings and remittances via the mobile phone makes access to these financial services cheaper, as expensive bank branches are not needed and many people do have a mobile phone nowadays in Nigeria.”

‘Tokunboh Ishmael, CEO of Alitheia: “We seek investments that not only provide financial impact but also social impact. Paga provides this double impact through its innovative platform, which facilitates financial inclusion by taking relevant financial services to the doorsteps of millions of Nigerians. We are very confident in the Paga team, in its bold vision and look forward to working closely to achieve our mutual objectives.”

Tayo Oviosu, Founder and CEO of Paga: “Goodwell and Alitheia bring a great wealth of international and local experience which will further strengthen our ability to achieve our vision as a company. We are strongly committed to bringing quality financial services to all Nigerians and truly believe that Paga will change the life of the average person for the better.”