Moniepoint cleared to acquire Kenyan fintech Kopo Kopo

The competition regulator in Kenya has given Moniepoint Inc. the green light to acquire Kopo Kopo, a Kenya-based company offering payments services and credit to businesses.

Following the approval by Competition Authority of Kenya (CA), Moniepoint (formerly TeamApt) will expand its services to Kenya continuing its growth plans across the continent. Moniepoint Inc, which runs one of the largest business payments and banking platforms in Nigeria, is said to be keen on expanding to new markets that have a mature banking or payments infrastructure.

Moniepoint declined to offer details of the deal, however, group CEO Tosin Eniolorunda said: "We have a publicly stated interest in Kenya as part of our mission to provide financial happiness for people across Africa and are delighted to have reached the milestone of securing regulatory approval for our plans."

Aside from offering credit to businesses, Kopo Kopo enables small merchants to accept mobile money payments from their customers. Moniepoint seems to be eyeing Kenya’s MSME digital lending space, and its mature mobile money market, which is dominated by Safaricom’s M-Pesa service.

In Nigeria, Moniepoint operates a payment gateway, and also provides capital and expansion loans, in addition to expense management (business payments cards), accounting and bookkeeping tools, and insurance to businesses.

“The Competition Authority of Kenya has approved the proposed acquisition of 100% shares in Kopo Kopo Inc. by Moniepoint Inc. unconditionally…This approval has been granted based on the two key considerations during the merger analysis that; first, the transaction is unlikely to negatively impact competition in the market for digital credit; and second, the transaction will not elicit negative public interest concerns,” said CA in a statement.

Kopo Kopo was founded by in 2010 by Ben Lyon and Dylan Higgins, and has so far raised $5.4 million backed by Accion Venture Lab, Javelin Venture Partners, First Light Ventures and Khosla Impact, according to Crunchbase.