Why Bitmama is acquiring Payday

Bitmama, a Nigerian blockchain startup is seeking to acquire Payday, aiming to strengthen its cross-border payment services. The deal is yet to be finalised.

Why Bitmama is acquiring Payday
Ruth Iselema x Favour Ori

A few days ago, we surmised that even if there were hushed talks about Moniepoint considering an acquisition of Payday, both entities have since moved on from it. Our speculation has been validated, as recent reports on Tuesday revealed that Bitmama, a Nigerian blockchain startup, is now eyeing the acquisition of Payday, the fintech company backed by Techstars.

“The deal is a work in progress. If the deal goes through, the result will be a strong team with much more efficiency,” says Favour Ori, the founder and CEO of Payday.

When Favour contacted Ruth Iselema, co-founder, and CEO of Bitmama, to explore the potential acquisition of Payday, it resonated with Bitmama's vision to extend its footprint beyond cryptocurrency through its product, Changera.

A source within Changera, speaking anonymously to said the acquisition of Payday will drive growth for the product. “Payday has a large user and customer base,” the source said. With over 330,000 users, the fintech processes an average of 40,000 transactions daily and over $25 million monthly. Meanwhile, Changera has 100,000+ users, according to its website.

At a valuation of $30 million, Bitmama is presenting Payday investors with $1 million in equity, according to TechCabal.

Launched in 2017 as a peer-to-peer digital currency exchange, Bitmama evolved into a platform that facilitates the trading and management of cryptocurrencies and digital assets for individuals. Fast forward four years, the Nigerian blockchain startup introduced Changera, a social payment solution facilitating remittances and international payments on Netflix and Amazon via virtual cards, utilising stablecoins. This service is available for users in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, and Canada.

“We started Bitmama to make it easy for anyone across the African continent to buy and sell cryptocurrency. But as time passed, we saw a couple of use cases we could employ this technology to solve,” Iselema said. “Many people wanted to make transactions aside from buying and selling of crypto, so we built stuff that could also let them buy local and international airtime and data. Then, due to local bank card limitations of $20 monthly spend, we provided virtual dollar cards for Nigerians to make international purchases.”

On the other hand, Payday, launched in 2021, operates as a neobank issuing global accounts in USD, EUR, and GBP to Africans. In addition to its cross-border payment services, Payday offers virtual dollar and naira cards (enabling Nigerian users to make purchases on foreign platforms), currency swaps, payment links, local bill payments, and peer-to-peer transfers—similar to the services provided by Changera. Favour Ori claims that the fintech became the pioneering startup to commence issuing virtual accounts in Africa, starting around June 2021.

This is a developing story

Get weekly insights on tech startups and VC in Africa