Nigerian fintech Fairmoney acquires Payforce to rebuild Africa’s money story

Nigerian fintech Fairmoney acquires Payforce to rebuild Africa’s money story

In Africa, there are approximately 100 million MSMEs, with 42 million in Nigeria alone. It is estimated that consumer payments in Africa will reach $2.1 trillion by 2025, but currently only 5% of these transactions are digitized and merchants face the difficulty of collecting payments seamlessly.

To capitalize on this opportunity, combined with the fragmented nature of the African payments landscape and the need for financial inclusion, banks, fintech firms and mobile money operators are developing innovative solutions.

As part of these solutions, Nigerian credit-led digital banking platform FairMoney has acquired PayForce (a spin-off of YC-backed CrowdForce), a merchant payments service serving small businesses, as the digital lender looks to expand its financial services offering to merchants.

According to a statement shared by, this acquisition is driven by FairMoney’s efforts to take on the bold task of rebuilding Africa’s monetary history. “For us, the heroes are the ordinary people, the small business owners and their customers who get up every day to chase their goals and achieve their dreams. All we want to do is be part of their success story and offer them the right support and financial products they needs,” Laurin Hainy, co-founder and CEO of FairMoney, said in the statement.

Perella Weinberg Partners served as financial advisor to FairMoney and Renaissance Capital Africa served as financial advisor to CrowdForce on this transaction, which is reportedly a cash-and-stock deal in the range of $15 million to $20 million.

PayForce provides merchants with POS devices and allows them to offer inbound, outbound, transfer and bill payments to retail customers while injecting liquidity through a network of partners – the company claims to have the largest liquidity among Nigerian agent banking networks at nearly ₦1.7 trillion. Fintech, which serves over 10,000 businesses, included business banking, finance team tools, B2B payments and virtual cards for this product.

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With the acquisition of PayForce, FairMoney has taken on the audacious goal of growing its merchant base to 100,000 merchants in Nigeria, while building a robust network of financial services to assist small businesses across the country.

“This acquisition is about the power of the ecosystem that we are building in Nigeria and Africa as a whole. We started FairMoney as a lender, but we realized that as we grew, the demand and desire of the people we serve was more than just lending, but a more robust platform that will help them tackle all their financial needs. It became clear to us that the target audience for our regular users is merchants and small business owners,” Hainy added.

CrowdForce charges a commission of 0.6% per transaction its partners make across products, including PayForce. The company says it has been cash positive since 2020, while growing 25% month-on-month to serve 1.9 million unique customers in 25 Nigerian states to date.

The acquisition, Hainy says, will provide incentives for PayForce-acquired merchants who use FairMoney as their primary bank, such as an 18% annual return on deposits, a rate he claims retail users benefit from on the platform.

“This development is exciting for us at CrowdForce, it feels good for the team to be welcomed into the FairMoney family. This move is in line with the expansion and growth roadmap for the business. Our focus at the moment is to ensure the best experience for our sellers and customers, and we’re excited about what the future holds for them,” said Oluwatomi Ayorinde Co-Founder and CEO of CrowdForce.

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Ayorinde joins Fairmoney as head of PayForce by FairMoney, the company’s payments business unit.


Last year, Abuja-based fintech CrowdForce raised $3.6 million pre-series-A to increase access to cash for rural communities in Nigeria. The financing round was led by Aruwa Capital Management with participation from HAVAÍC and AAIC.

Launched in 2017 as an online lender providing instant loans and bill payments to customers in Nigeria, the Tiger Global-backed company now offers debit accounts and cards, P2P transfers and payments to over one million retail and small business customers.

The company is one of the licensed digital lenders in Nigeria. In 2021, Fairmoney secured a Series B raise of $42 million to diversify its offerings and expand to “become the financial hub for users”.

“We see ourselves as a retail bank, but the lines between merchants and retail are often blurred. We’ve been thinking more and more about the commerce space, and we see a lot of potential synergies between what PayForce and we’ve built independently.” Hainy added. “We know that if we combine both businesses, their merchants will enjoy what our retail customers already enjoy.”

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