Telecom operator Airtel Africa has secured $ 200 million investment for its Airtel Mobile Commerce unit from Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), MarketWatch and other news outlets reported Friday (July 30).
Airtel Africa, with a valuation of $ 2.65 billion, is listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) and focuses on providing telecommunications services across Africa.
The investment will give QIA – the state of Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund – a minority stake in Airtel Mobile Commerce, according to reports. Airtel Mobile Commerce operates several of Airtel Africa’s mobile money operations.
The new capital injection will be used to advance Airtel Africa’s “asset monetization strategy”, with a view to a possible public listing of its mobile money business over the next four years. The new funding will also be used for debt reduction, network improvement and sales infrastructure, MarketWatch reported.
In April, Mastercard backed Airtel Mobile Commerce with $ 100 million. The Airtel Africa subsidiary also landed a $ 200 million investment from TPG’s Rise fund.
Airtel Mobile Commerce is the holding company for a cross section of Airtel Africa’s mobile money operations in 14 African countries, including Kenya, Uganda and Nigeria, according to TechCrunch. Airtel Africa’s mobile money division is one of the largest financial service providers in all of Africa, offering mobile wallets, cross-border money transfers, loans and virtual credit cards.
“Airtel Money plays a vital role in facilitating economic activity, including for customers without access to traditional financial services. We strongly believe in its mission to expand these efforts over the next few years, ”Mansoor bin Ebrahim Al-Mahmoud, CEO of QIA, said in a statement, via TechCrunch. He added that the investment will help advance financial inclusion in sub-Saharan Africa.
Vodafone is considering the possibility of M-Pesa spinning mill, its African mobile money subsidiary. M-Pesa offers peer-to-peer money transfers to Kenya, Tanzania and Mozambique. The mobile money platform is also planning to branch out into savings, small loans, and payroll.