Payments company pawaPay has closed a $9m seed funding round co-led by Chinese investment firm MSA and UK-based investment fund 88mph.

The round was also joined by Vunani Capital, Kepple Ventures and Zagadat Capital.

pawaPay plans to utilise the new capital to scale up operational presence, expand team, and foray into new markets in the African continent.

UK-based pawaPay provides mobile money payments infrastructure in Africa by leveraging technical integrations from telecom operators such as Econet, AirtelTigo, Safaricom, Orange, MTN, and Vodafone.

The firm serves pan-African as well as global merchants and companies looking to make payments to African consumers’ accounts.

Using pawaPay’s API, customers can send and receive payments through all telco mobile money systems.

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Commenting on the latest development, pawaPay CEO Nikolai Barnwell said: “We are excited to have world-class investors supporting our vision to connect every mobile money wallet in Africa to each other, and the rest of the world, as we continue to make it simpler to do payments.”

88mph founder Kresten Buch commented: “When we first invested in Africa in 2010, one of the key drivers was that mobile money was a superior payment method to credit and debit cards when used for online payment.

“So, we are excited to be an investor in pawaPay’s journey and continue to witness the development of digital infrastructure in Africa.”