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Mastercard Invests $100 Million in Airtel Africa

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Mastercard has invested $100 million in mobile money business Airtel Mobile Commerce BV.

Airtel Africa is one of the leading provider of telecommunications and mobile money services, with a presence in 14 countries in Africa, primarily in East Africa and Central and West Africa.

The company is currently valued at $2.65 billion.

This is not the first time the companies have teamed up.

Douglas Baillie, vice chairman of the MasterCard Foundation, sits on Airtel Africa’s board of directors. In 2019, Mastercard signed a deal allowing Airtel Africa’s 100 million subscribers in 14 nations admittance to Mastercard’s global network.

Airtel Africa and Mastercard released a joint statement saying that they have “extended commercial agreements and signed a new commercial framework which will deepen their partnerships across numerous geographies and areas including card issuance, payment gateway, payment processing, merchant acceptance and remittance solutions, amongst others.”

“We are pleased to welcome Mastercard as an investor in our mobile money business, joining The Rise Fund, which we announced two weeks ago,” CEO of Airtel Africa, Raghunath Mandava, said of the investment. “This is a continuation of our strategy to increase the minority shareholding in our mobile money business with the further intention to list this business within four years. We are significantly strengthening our existing strategic relationship with Mastercard to help us realize the full potential from the substantial opportunity to improve financial inclusion across our countries of operation.”

Last month, The Rise Fund, the global impact investing platform of investment firm TPG, announced that it had invested $200 million in Airtel Africa to help the company reduce its debt and invest in network and sales infrastructure.

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