International Finance Corporation (IFC), part of the World Bank Group, has proposed to invest up to $8.1 million in mobile payments switch TerraPay, a B2B company incubated by Indian conglomerate Mahindra Group-led Comviva.
TerraPay is a real-time, low-value payments network, which connects all financial instruments globally. The company enables interoperability of mobile wallets in international, regional and domestic markets. It is registered in Amsterdam, Netherlands and has operations in Africa and Asia.
IFC’s investment will be part of a transaction by an investment consortium to acquire the company and fund its expansion, it said in a disclosure. It would subscribe to preferred Series A shares of TerraPay in exchange for the investment.
The investment will allow TerraPay to execute on its strategy to scale operations as a hub enabling interoperable, real-time, cross-border transactions between money transfer operators (MTOs) and mobile money operators, the disclosure said.
It will also contribute to promoting systemic changes in the international remittances market in Sub-Saharan Africa, by lowering barriers to entrants for new MTOs, promoting price reduction through competition and by enabling a lower-cost model for remittance transfers directly into mobile money and bank accounts, it added.
Founded in 2014, TerraPay over the years has been expanding its reach globally.
In 2016, TerraPay acquired UK-based Pay2Global with an aim to expand its footprint in the European market. Last year, TerraPay teamed up with Western Union to help the latter expand account payout network in Europe, Africa, Latin America, and Asia.
It has also partnered with private sector lender Yes Bank to enable real-time money transfer to bank accounts in India. In February, it partnered with Pan Asia Bank to make instant cross-border money transfer to all bank accounts in Sri Lanka.
Meanwhile, Comviva was acquired by Tech Mahindra from Bharti Group in 2012. Tech Mahindra is part of the $21-billion Mahindra Group. Other investors in TerraPay include Prime Ventures, Partech, and its employees.