Ken Njoroge’s Cellulant worth Sh. 10.8 billion after buyout

A Kenyan fintech company that was founded by Ken Njoroge and Bolaji Akinbori is now worth Sh. 10.8 billion. This follows the acquisition of the firm by an American fund.

In 2018, the Kenyan digital payments service provider sold a Sh. 4.8 billion stake to the US fund known as The Rise Fund. The fund that acquired the stake is a subsidiary of TPG Growth, a US company that specializes in growth equity and middle market buyouts.

The deal has since been dubbed as one of the largest to have been undertaken by a Kenyan fintech company.

The new valuation has been made by the Competition Authority of Kenya (CAK). Through a notice last week, the CAK revealed that Cellulant had sold a 44.4 percent stake, putting the firm’s valuation at close to Sh. 11 billion.

Cellulant facilitates mobile payments and digital commerce service for enterprises, mobile network operators, financial institutions and their customers. It launched its operations in Kenya and Nigeria in 2014 and now has operations in nine other countries including Zambia, Zimambwe, Ghana, Tanzania, Uganda, Botswana, Malawi, Liberia, and Mozambique.

Fuether, the CAK, revealed that it had given the buyout a green light. “…Competition Authority of Kenya excludes the proposed acquisition of 44.04 per cent of Cellulant Corporation by The Rise Fund Certify, L.P, from the provisions of Part IV of the Act due to the following reasons,” said CAK’s director-general, Wang’ombe Kariuki. “The acquisition will not affect competition negatively, the [parties’] combined turnover of Sh. 844.5 million meets the threshold for exclusion under the Merger Threshold Guidelines.”

According to a local daily, The Rise Fund made the investment in Cellulant together with Endeavor Catalyst, “a co-investment fund that specialises in growth equity investments, and Satya Capital, an independent venture firm with a focus on African business.”

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