Wave secures €90 mln to expand operations in Senegal and Côte d’Ivoire

By : Muriel Edjo

Date : jeudi, 07 juillet 2022 14:07

The number of mobile financial service subscribers rose significantly in Africa over the past ten years. According to the GSM Association, it is estimated at some 200 million subscribers currently. With the arrival of new ambitious actors, the high fees, which used to hinder mobile financial services adoption, are dropping. 

Wave Mobile Money S.A. (Senegal) and Wave Côte d'Ivoire S.A. recently secured a €90 million financing package arranged by the International Financial Corporation ( IFC). The package includes a €25 million loan from the IFC, and a combined €41 million B loan - Ed.note: Repayable over 5 to 8 years with the possibility to pay a large portion of the loan in the last amortization year- from Symbiotics, Blue Orchard, responsAbility and Lendable. The remaining €24 million is a parallel loan -not exposed to currency fluctuation risks- from Finnfund and Norfund. 

The funds secured will serve for the development of Wave’s activities in Senegal and Côte d’Ivoire. According to an IFC release dated July 6, “in addition to helping to finance the companies' operations, IFC's support will help establish a mobile money environment where customers can transact more often thanks to a simple fee structure and lower transaction costs.”  

This will foster higher frequency of transactions, new payment methods, and growing overall value of payments processed by the users, particularly among lower-income customers,” the release adds. 

Wave's vision of making Africa the first cashless continent, by building affordable and user-centric solutions, matches IFC's ambitions of universal financial inclusion. [...] This investment by IFC and other lenders helps us offer a diversity of financial products, encouraging users to stay within the formal financial sector, deepening financial inclusion in the region,” indicated Coura Sene, Wave’s Mobile Money Regional Director for the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU). 

For Aliou Maïga, IFC's Regional Director for West and Central Africa, the loans “will not only promote inclusive finance, but it will also significantly contribute to further advancing digital economy solutions in West Africa.”

Let’s note that in September 2021, Wave Mobile Money Holdings Inc. (parent company of Wave Mobile Money S.A. (Senegal) and Wave Côte d'Ivoire S.A.) raised US$200 million during a Series A round, becoming a unicorn company (valued at over US$1 billion). 

Muriel Edjo


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