Ghanaian fintech startup Dash bags $32.8M in funding to build an alternative payment network for African consumers
Africa is a continent with a population of over 1.3 billion people. However, unlike in the western world where online or offline payments are made with debit or credit cards facilitated using network payment processors such as Visa or Mastercard, the majority of payments are made using bank accounts and telecommunications-led mobile wallets, often called mobile money.
But making payments via mobile money wallets and banks comes with its own sets of challenges. For example, there are over 200 different kinds of mobile money wallets, none of which work with one another. And that’s why one African FinTech startup is on a mission to solve this problem by providing a unified payment network.
Enter Dash, a Ghana-based fintech that is building a unified alternative payment network for African consumers. With Dash, users can send and receive money (regardless of currency) all in a single app. Dash users can also pay for goods and services both online and offline.
To further grow its platform, the Accra, Ghana-based Dash announced today that it has raised $32.8 million in funding, making it one of the largest seed rounds for an African technology startup. The oversubscribed seed round was led by New York-based global private equity and venture capital firm Insight Venture Partners, with participation from Global Founders Capital and 4DX Ventures.
Other investors in the round include ASK Capital, Techstars, Guillaume Pousaz’s Zinal Growth Partners, Jitendra Gupta of Jupiter Money, Amrish Rau, CEO of Pine Labs, the founders of Moss, executives from ProcessOut (acquired by Checkout.com), and the founders of PennyLane. Dash will use the fresh capital infusion to grow its team, launch new features, and expand its footprint across key markets in Africa.
Dash was founded by Prince Boakye Boampong to create a unified payments app to increase efficiency and accessibility for the estimated 1.3 billion Africans currently transacting via digital payments. In 2014, Mr. Boampong was in Kenya and witnessed the way most unbanked Kenyans were sending money and paying bills with mobile money.
“Once I saw that mobile money was more accessible to the average Kenyan, and allowed for faster transactions, without the need for traditional banking, I knew that it was forever going to change the financial landscape in Africa, however, I also recognized that interoperability would immediately pose a challenge,” Boampong said.
Prior to launching Dash, Boampong founded OMG Digital, Inc, the first Ghanaian-founded company to get accepted into the prestigious Y Combinator accelerator in San Francisco. He also led the company to secure $1.2 million in seed funding from Y Combinator, Comcast Ventures, Social Capital, according to his LinkedIn profile.
Since its launch in 2020, Dash has processed over $1 billion from over 1 million of its users. billion since its launch in 2020, showing exponential month-over-month growth. Currently operating in Kenya, Ghana, and Nigeria, in January 2022 alone, Dash reported a Total Processed Volume (TPV) of over $300 million, up 3X on a monthly basis from Q4 2021.
“We are committed to unifying the financial sector in Africa and leveraging its current technological revolution as more than 400 million smartphones and 548 million mobile money users circulate within the continent. Dash will provide a singular solution for all our users, individuals, merchants, and banks,” said Prince Boakye Boampong.
“Dash stands out against competitors with its consumer-friendly, highly flexible wallet offerings to meet the needs of African consumers. Dash’s platform acts as infrastructure for the large percentage of Africans that are unbanked, removing the barriers associated with daily transactions and cash utilization,” said Deven Parekh, Managing Director at Insight Partners. “We look forward to working with Prince and the Dash team as they continue to grow and scale-up.”