South African startup Airbuy, which helps online stores to accept payments from customers without the need for a bank account, is hoping to expand and raise funding in 2020 following a positive rollout in 2019.
Launched in 2017, Airbuy has developed an alternative payment gateway tailor-made for both Africans without bank accounts and those that do have them but are not comfortable with using their bank details when buying online due to fear of fraud.
The Johannesburg-based startup has been quietly growing since its launch, spending most of the last two years ensuring the security of its platform, and us now ready to scale across the country.
Having only received seed funding thus far, it is targeting a Series A round of ZAR2 million (US$136,000) for development and customer acquisition purposes. It has already signed up more than 50 merchants, and is adding an average of two more each week, a figure director Tshepang Kobo said will grow substantially with the additional investment.
“South Africans have received Airbuy well since our official role out in mid-2019 and we very humbled by that. We are very excited about the growing community of local e-commerce businesses that have offered Airbuy as an alternative payment option to give their customers a safer and more comfortable option to pay online their online store,” said Kobo.
“We have also learned a lot about the challenges that local e-commerce businesses go through around e-commerce. We usually find ourselves going the extra mile to help South African e-commerce businesses with their online store with other issues relating to growing their e-commerce business.
In 2020, the startup wants to impact more small businesses nationwide.
“Currently, most of our online merchants are from Joburg, Durban, and Cape Town. We also have received interest from major retailers who are keen on adding Airbuy as a payment alternative,” said Kobo.
Airbuy is also working on launching Android and iOS versions of its payment plugins following requests from businesses, and has been expanding its development team.
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