BitPesa, found online at BitPesa.co, promises to facilitate transactions across Africa. Find out more about the platform today in our review.
What Is BitPesa?
BitPesa is a blockchain-based payment platform that allows users to send and collect business payments between Africa and the rest of the world.
The platform makes it easy for users to place a trade online and have that trade executed in minutes.
BitPesa was launched in November 2013. The company is headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, but also maintains offices in Lagos, Dakar, and London.
In May 2014, BitPesa launched its core payment service allowing anyone to send money to any mobile money wallet in Kenya. By November 2015, BitPesa allowed users to send and receive payments over seven different mobile money networks connected to 60+ banks across Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania.
The ultimate goal of BitPesa is to become the largest licensed payment company in the UK, Europe, and Africa that offers real-time settlement at wholesale exchange rates to frontier and emerging markets.
BitPesa has been in headlines this past month for closing a major funding round led by big name investors.
How Does BitPesa Work?
BitPesa is an online payment platform catered towards major African markets. Today, the platform allows users to accomplish two general tasks:
- Send and collect business payments between Africa and the rest of the world
- Immediately place a trade online and execute that trade within minutes
Today, the platform is used by importers and exporters across Africa to facilitate seamless trading and payment exchange services. Users can send and receive payments in multiple currencies, including African currencies that can be used to pay bills at home and international currencies that can be used to pay suppliers from abroad.
How does BitPesa offer cheap, fast payment processing and international transactions? The secret power behind BitPesa, as you may have guessed, it blockchain technology. Specifically, BitPesa uses the bitcoin network.
BitPesa’s core technology involves deploying APIs to work with a network of banks and mobile payment platforms. In some cases, customers who use BitPesa aren’t even aware that the platform uses the bitcoin network – they just pay in one currency and receive another.
In any case, BitPesa works like most money transfer services built on bitcoin: the company transfers money to the bitcoin blockchain, then transfers it into another currency. This can be done at a cheaper rate than conventional foreign exchange transfer services.
In an interview in August, BitPesa’s founder, Elizabeth Rossiello, was asked about the usefulness of the bitcoin network in regards to its volatility and slow transaction speeds (it takes about 10 minutes to process a bitcoin transaction).
In response, Rossiello declaimed that bitcoin was still infinitely superior to wire transfers – which can take days and provide unreliable records. She also made the valid point that many African currencies are more volatile than bitcoin.
BitPesa is a Nairobi, Kenya-based financial services provider. The company was founded in 2013 and maintains offices in Lagos, Dakar, and London.
In August 2017, BitPesa completed its latest Series A funding round, closing $4.25 million in funding. That funding round made headlines around the world because it involved “the grandfather of venture capital”, Alan Patricof, who made his first bet on bitcoin by investing $2 million into BitPesa.
To date, the company has raised $10 million in five rounds from 11 investors, according to Crunchbase.
Key members of the company include founders Elizabeth Rossiello, Amy Ludlum, and Charlene Chen.
BitPesa is an African money transfer service that has recently made headlines for closing a massive funding round led by big name investors. The company, however, has been operating since 2013 across Africa. Customers can use the platform to enjoy cheap, fast, and easy transfers between African fiat currencies and international currencies. Transfers are performed over the bitcoin network.
You can learn more about BitPesa’s payment services today by visiting the company online at BitPesa.co.