South African payment gateway Ozow has raised $48m in a Series B funding round to expand the availability of alternative payment solutions across the country.

The financing round, led by Tencent, also had participation from Endeavor Catalyst and Endeavor Harvest Fund.

Founded in 2014 by CEO Thomas Pays, Ozow was rebranded from i-Pay in April 2019.  The firm provides alternative payment methods, including QR codes, point of sale, e-commerce, e-billing and peer-to-peer (P2P) payments across South Africa.

The fresh infusion will enable Ozow to expand its product offering to drive financial inclusion in the country.

The firm is also eyeing strategic investments, including mergers and acquisitions, to support the development of new products, as well as its expansion into Africa.

Ozow co-founder and CEO Thomas Pays said: “It’s an honour to bring on board Tencent, Endeavor Catalyst and Endeavor Harvest Fund. This is a validation of our role in transforming the banking industry through the development of innovative, convenient, and more inclusive payment solutions for everyone.”

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The latest round follows Ozow’s Series A funding in 2019. The firm is said to have witnessed 100% year-on-year growth since then.

According to the firm, it processes more than $100m in transaction volumes monthly across its merchant network.

It also claims that over 120,000 users joining its platform on a monthly basis.

In July this year, South African payments and software platform Yoco raised $83m in Series C funding to accelerate the development of its financial ecosystem for small businesses.

Recently, Australian fintech Zip signed a deal to buy South African buy now, pay later (BNPL) firm Payflex.