After raising $10 million in a Series B funding in 2018 to support its global expansion, Nigeria’s digital payment startup, Paga is in the process of raising a Series C, according to the company’s co-founder, Jay Alabraba.
Alabraba disclosed this while speaking at a fireside chat with Uche Aniche, at the just concluded StartupSouth5 conference in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.
When asked about Paga’s valuation currently, he said they don’t usually speak about valuations but explained that the company has raised between $35 million to $40 million since it started operations a decade ago and is in the process of raising a Series C to develop new products and expand into new markets. He didn’t share further details.
Speaking on the lessons he has learnt so far building Paga, the 43-year-old former investment banker said the most important consideration for any startup must be the team.
“If I could focus on one thing, I will focus on the competition around people and team. I would not start a business that I am serious about without having other people around the table that I can actually turn to, not only for the confirmation of my suspicion but even for proposing opposing views,” said Alabraba who joined his buddy Tayo Oviosu in 2009 to co-found the successful digital payment startup.
“This could be a personal thing, but I can assure you that investors or people that may give you money may actually see it this way. If you as an entrepreneur cannot convince one other person or two other people to come along with you on a journey, then there is a real problem. It means that you may have difficulties selling what you are offering. It may also mean that people don’t see the value in what you are doing,” he explained.
According to him, “The biggest thing I have learned, I would say, is that a lot of the successes have come from the people. At this point, Paga has gone beyond me and Tayo. We have about 500 staff across the world at Paga, not only in engineering but in customer support, finance, business development, etc. Each of these people is contributing a significant amount in the way they see their role in where the company is going. My advice will be finding the right team to work with.”