Ethiopia’s M-BIRR fields Standard Bank as lead adviser for $9.8m equity raise

Ethiopia’s M-BIRR fields Standard Bank as lead adviser for $9.8m equity raise

Standard Bank Group has acted as exclusive financial adviser to M-BIRR which recently completed a successful equity raise of €8m ($9.8m).

M-BIRR is a mobile technology company in Ethiopia that operates the country’s mobile money service. The company provides a technology platform to facilitate mobile banking for the largest micro finance institutions in Ethiopia. The equity raise provides M-BIRR with the necessary financing to roll out its ambitious growth plans across Ethiopia, increasing the population’s ability to receive, send and pay for goods and services with mobile money quickly, easily and securely.

Through the mobile money service, M-BIRR has played a critical role in improving access to aid in Ethiopia. By providing a platform that allows foreign aid to be transferred digitally, rather than physically moving it via road haulage vehicles, M-BIRR has reduced the security risk and chance of logistical failure of moving cash in transit to remote areas. To date, aid is already delivered to 2 million people via the M-BIRR platform.

The equity raise attracted interest from large international investors from across Europe. Standard Bank is focused on supporting its African clients’ growth ambitions, which often involves introducing innovative, fast-growing African companies to the international capital markets, allowing them to seek funding outside of the continent to help realise their potential.

Siji Adesemowo, Vice President, Corporate Finance Europe at Standard Bank, commented: “The work that M-BIRR has already done has helped millions of Ethiopians - from allowing access to aid to progressing the government’s aim for financial inclusion in the country. The equity raising allows M-BIRR to take advantage of Ethiopia’s fast-growing economy and reach their growth ambitions.”

The deal, led by Standard Bank, demonstrates the bank’s constantly evolving and comprehensive suite of corporate financing expertise across Africa and in key financial centres globally.

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