Often times, a name change signals that a company is aiming for an entirely new market.
For Kenya’s BitPesa, it’s more about rebranding and restructuring in the face of rapid growth and expansion across Africa and beyond. BitPesa is now part of the newly incorporated AZA Group, which also owns two other brands: TransferZero and BFX.
“We’re very proud of what we’ve worked so hard to build,” said Elizabeth Rossiello, founder and CEO of AZA Group.
AZA Group says it is the leading provider of currency trading solutions focused on accelerating global access to frontier markets. The company announced last week that it has secured $15 million debt funding from the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) to expand further in emerging markets. The amount brings the total investments the firm has raised so far to $30 million.
Currently, AZA operates in 8 African countries – Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, Morocco, Uganda, DRC, and Tanzania. However, the new funding will allow the company to expand further into new markets in Northern and Southern Africa and the Middle East. This will not only increase its liquidity but also boost its client base.
The acquisition of TransferZero and the launch of B2B product BFX, has seen AZA Group process up to $1 billion in transaction volumes so far—representing a growth rate of 300 percent.
“We’re here to be an integral part of how Africa is accelerating its growth. The potential for frontier markets continues to increase and becomes more globally relevant. We’re solving a continent-wide challenge of a lack of financial infrastructure available for growing businesses – and we are doing it using a unique combination of financial and technological tools with a modern operational approach.”
According to Rossiello, the “dollarisation of Africa” is a major hindrance to the growth of mid-size businesses across the continent. She added that through AZA, they’ve have been able to lower over-reliance on USD in Africa by over $100 million each year. This was made possible thanks to cost-effective transfers and treasury solutions that promote the use of local currencies.
BitPesa, now AZA Group, was among was the first blockchain company to be licensed by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority and follows stringent KYC practices.