Tpay Mobile, the Dubai-headquartered mobile payment enabler, has acquired Turkish payment service provider Payguru, it announced in a statement today, without disclosing the financial details of the deal. Payguru, according to the statement, is a bootstrapped business offering mobile payments, ATM cash payments, and bank transfer services to its merchants through its integration with three mobile network operators and eight major banks.
Cairo-born Tpay Mobile claims to be the leading digital merchant acquirer of the Middle East and Africa, enabling payments acceptance from more than 54 mobile payment channels which are connected to close to 600 million consumers in the region.
Its merchant partners are able to unlock access to these consumers in 24 countries in the region, using direct carrier billing (DCB), a mobile wallet, and mobile money—all of which are available through a single integration.
(Direct carrier billing, for those who don’t know, is a payment method that allows users to make purchases online with payment charged to their mobile phone bill.)
Founded in 2014 as the first open mobile payment platform of the region, Tpay Mobile was acquired by leading African private investment firm Helios Investment Partner. The firm had acquired a 76% stake in Tpay Mobile in 2018, creating a dragon exit for A15, the firm that had founded it.
Tpay has previously also acquired its Cairo-based rival DCBEgypt in 2017.
Sahar Salama, founder and CEO of Tpay Mobile, said, “Tpay Mobile is on an accelerated growth trajectory, and the acquisition of Payguru fast-tracks our vision to become the leading digital payment platform in the Middle East and Africa, guaranteeing a best-in-class user experience, and offering innovative services to our partners, and further driving digital and financial inclusion in our region.”
“This transaction extends our footprint in the region, continues our diversification into new business lines, and also significantly strengthens our value-added services proposition in the region. The regional and global fintech sector is at an inflection point for growth, making this the perfect time to welcome Payguru into our fold,” she added.
Payguru, founded in 2015, according to the statement, was the first mobile payment company to receive a license from Turkey’s financial regulator. It offers direct carrier billing through three mobile network operators, as well as bank transfer and ATM payments through eight major banks. The Turkish company currently has over 1,300 merchants on its platform and processed over 13 million transactions in the last 12 months.
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According to its LinkedIn page, Payguru has a team of 25 employees. It is not immediately clear if all of them will join Tpay as a result of the acquisition.
Payguru’s co-founder and chairman Işık Uman, commented on the deal and said, “We are proud to have built a successful and profitable business over the last five years, which we have achieved through organic growth and no external investment. We are delighted to be joining Tpay Mobile, a leading player in the region.”
“The merger with Tpay Mobile opens a huge window of opportunity for the export of our products outside of our country, leveraging Tpay Mobile’s presence in MEA countries. This will also bring our local merchants the opportunity to collect payments from these new countries with a single integration on Tpay Mobile/Payguru platform,” he added.
This article first appeared on MENAbytes.