Dash, the unified and accessible payments app, announced that it has raised $32.8 million in an oversubscribed seed round, one of the largest seed rounds for an African technology startup.
The round was led by New York-based global private equity and venture capital firm Insight Venture Partners, with participation from Global Founders Capital and 4DX Ventures. Other investors in the round include ASK Capital, Techstars, Guillaume Pousaz’s Zinal Growth Partners, Jitendra Gupta of Jupiter Money, Amrish Rau, CEO of Pine Labs, the founders of Moss, executives from ProcessOut (acquired by Checkout.com), and the founders of PennyLane. The funding will go towards building out Dash’s team, launching new features, and the expansion of its footprint across key markets in Africa.
Dash was founded by Prince Boakye Boampong to create a unified payments app to increase efficiency and accessibility for the estimated 1.3 billion Africans currently transacting via digital payments. In 2014, Mr. Boampong was in Kenya and witnessed the way most unbanked Kenyans were sending money and paying bills with mobile money.
“Once I saw that mobile money was more accessible to the average Kenyan, and allowed for faster transactions, without the need for traditional banking, I knew that it was forever going to change the financial landscape in Africa, however, I also recognized that interoperability would immediately pose a challenge.”Prince Boakye Boampong, Founder, Dash
First launching in 2020, Dash has created a unique alternative payment network that brings together mobile money and traditional banks, to facilitate the processing of transactions for consumers and businesses. To contextualize this, in many western financial markets, online or offline payments made with debit or credit cards are facilitated by network payment processors such as Visa or Mastercard. Visa and Mastercard support communication between different banks, and/or financial platforms, to swiftly settle transactions for consumers and businesses. In Africa however, where most payments are made using telecommunications-led mobile wallets, aptly called mobile money, there are over 200 different kinds of mobile money wallets, none of which work with each other. Until Dash, there was no unified payment network that had made significant progress in the continent’s payment landscape. Dash has perfected a connected wallet for a connected Africa.
“Dash stands out against competitors with its consumer-friendly, highly flexible wallet offerings to meet the needs of African consumers. Dash’s platform acts as infrastructure for the large percentage of Africans that are unbanked, removing the barriers associated with daily transactions and cash utilization. We look forward to working with Prince and the Dash team as they continue to grow and scale up.”Deven Parekh, Managing Director, Insight Partners
“The support for Dash has been tremendous, and we can’t thank our investors enough for not only understanding our vision, but believing in the strength of Africa’s tech and financial ecosystems.”Prince Boakye Boampong, Founder, Dash
Dash’s 1 million+ customers have processed over $1 billion since its launch in 2020, showing exponential month-over-month growth. Currently operating in Kenya, Ghana, and Nigeria, in January 2022 alone, Dash reported a Total Processed Volume (TPV) of over $300 million, up 3X on a monthly basis from Q4 2021. “We are committed to unifying the financial sector in Africa and leveraging its current technological revolution as more than 400 million smartphones and 548 million mobile money users circulate within the continent. Dash will provide a singular solution for all our users, individuals, merchants, and banks,” said Prince Boakye Boampong.