Standard Bank acts as lead adviser on M-BIRR’s US$9.87mn equity raise

m birrThrough the mobile money service, M-BIRR has played a critical role in improving access to aid in Ethiopia. (Image source: USAID Digital Development/Flickr)Standard Bank Group has acted as exclusive financial adviser to M-BIRR Ltd, which recently completed a successful equity raise of US$9.87mn

M-BIRR is one of the leading mobile technology companies in Ethiopia and the leading mobile money service in the country. The company provides a technology platform to facilitate mobile banking for the largest microfinance institutions in Ethiopia.

The equity raise provides M-BIRR with the necessary financing to roll out its ambitious growth plans across Ethiopia, increasing the population’s ability to receive, send and pay for goods and services with mobile money easily.

Through the mobile money service, M-BIRR has played a major role in improving access to aid in Ethiopia. By providing a platform that allows foreign aid to be transferred digitally, rather than physically moving it via road haulage vehicles, M-BIRR has reduced the security risk and chance of logistical failure of moving cash in transit to remote areas. To date, aid is already delivered to two million people via the M-BIRR platform.

The equity raise attracted interest from large international investors from across Europe. Standard Bank is focused on supporting its African clients’ growth ambitions, which often involves introducing innovative, fast-growing African companies to the international capital markets, allowing them to seek funding outside of the continent to help realise their potential.

Siji Adesemowo, vice-president of Corporate Finance Europe at Standard Bank, commented, “The M-BIRR equity raising offered a compelling opportunity to international investors, while also providing far-reaching social benefits. The work that M-BIRR has already done has helped millions of Ethiopians, from allowing access to aid to progressing the government’s aim for financial inclusion in the country. The equity raising allows M-BIRR to take advantage of Ethiopia’s fast-growing economy and reach their growth ambitions.”

“Standard Bank continues to support our clients in accessing investment opportunities in Ethiopia”, said Taitu Wondwosen, head of Ethiopia for Standard Bank Group. “Our Addis Ababa office is both a consolidation of the bank’s East Africa presence and an entry point for clients seeking to invest in Ethiopia as demonstrated by this deal.”

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