Payhippo, a Nigerian fintech startup focused on SMEs, has acquired Maritime Microfinance Bank (MFB), a financial institution specializing in savings products, demand deposits, investments, and SMEs loans. Although the deal is still pending approval from the Central Bank of Nigeria, The parties are working together to obtain the regulator’s approval. Payhippo says this acquisition will enable them to directly access Nigeria’s Inter-bank Settlement System (NIBSS).
Maritime, which was founded in 2014, is a traditional financial institution that lends to micro businesses (including freelancers, solo entrepreneurs, and side hustlers) and SMEs (companies with up to 500 employees) in the maritime industry. However, PayHippo’s acquisition of Maritime will enable the MFB to enter new markets. Payhippo merchants will be able to accept deposits as well as send and receive money across various commercial banks in Nigeria as a result of this acquisition.
Chioma Okotcha, Uche Nnadi, and Zach Bijesse founded Payhippo to provide credit to Nigerian small businesses. According to the Lagos-based fintech, which has received $4.1 million in venture capital funding since its inception in 2019, it has disbursed over 25,000 loans to Nigerian small and medium enterprises and earns more than $4 million in revenue per year.
Payhippo’s CEO and co-founder Zach Bijesse revealed that the startup had begun planning acquisitions at the beginning of the year. When the acquisition is approved, Maritime will adopt Payhippo’s corporate brand, while Payhippo will extend its digital services to existing Maritime customers.
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“There is an ever-increasing demand in Nigeria for SME lending solutions to assist businesses in meeting their financial needs.” We believe Payhippo is well-positioned to create new and tailored financial products for the country’s SMEs.” Adetola Atekoja, Chairman of Maritime Microfinance Bank, made the announcement in a statement.
This acquisition will enable the MFB to expand its product and services in line with Payhippo’s goal to reach a wider range of SMEs from different sectors by providing access to quick and seamless financing. The acquisition’s approval date has yet to be determined.