Consortium backs Sequoia company

A consortium of seven investors has backed a debt investment into an Africa-focused financial services technology company, which is part-owned by Sequoia Heritage.

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has partnered with six investors to back approximately $91 million (€90 million) investment into Wave Money.

IFC is injecting €25 million worth of debt into the company as part of the transaction.

The investor is joined on the debt tranche by Symbiotics, BlueOrchard Finance, responsAbility, and Lendable which are jointly investing €41 million into the company

Other investors in debt tranche includes Finnfund and Norfund which are jointly investing €24 million.

Wave will use the new capital for capacity expansion, with the company looking to grow its coverage in Senegal and Côte d’Ivoire.

“Supporting access to financial services for low-income, unbanked populations is a key priority for IFC,” said Aliou Maiga, regional director for West and Central Africa at IFC. “Our investment in Wave will not only promote inclusive finance, but it will also significantly contribute to further advance digital economy solutions in West Africa.”

Duncan Frayne is regional director for Africa at Symbiotics.

Richard Hardy is investment director for Africa Private Equity at BlueOrchard.

Michael Fabbron is director for Africa at responsAbility.

Sebastian Rogers is head for Africa at Lendable.

Markus Pietikäinen is chief investment officer at Finnfund.

Fabrice Mpollo is impact investment manager for Africa at Norfund.

Sequoia first invested in Wave in 2021, backing a $200 million series-A funding round into the company, investing alongside Stripe, Ribbit Capital and Founders Fund.

Headquartered in Washington, US, Wave is a software company, which offers a mobile money banking platform to corporate and retail clients, across Africa.

The company operates across Senegal, Cote d’Ivoire and Uganda.

Wave’s online platform enables clients to open banking accounts, deposit and withdraw money, and pay utlilty bills.

The company also enables clients to conduct peer-to-peer business payments.

Created in 2018, the company is headed by co-founder and CEO Durbin and employs 800 people, as of 2021.