By: 25 March 2024

Zone will scale its blockchain-based decentralised payment infrastructure

Nigerian paytech Zone raises $8.5m in seed funding

Payment infrastructure provider Zone has raised $8.5m in an oversubscribed seed funding round led by Flourish Ventures and TLcom Capital.  

The new funding will enable Zone to further expand coverage of its network domestically and connect more banks and financial services companies. A portion of the proceeds will be allocated to conduct a pilot programme to test the company’s cross-border capabilities, scheduled for 2025.  

Nigeria-based Zone offers a blockchain-based decentralised payment structure for financial services providers. Its network digitises fiat payments and enables the transition to digital currencies.  

Zone has already signed up more than 15 of Africa’s largest banks and fintechs. The company wants to extend its footprint across Africa on its way to achieving its aim of becoming a global payment network.  

Other investors in the round include blockchain-focused venture capital firms Digital Currency Group, VKAV and Alter Global.  

Commenting on the round, Obi Emetarom, chief executive officer and co-founder of Zone, said: “The participation of high-quality investors despite the funding drought and the fact that we had more interested investors than we needed, is a sign of trust in the Zone brand.  

“As we step into this new phase at Zone, we are re-energised and our commitment to transforming Africa’s payment infrastructure is renewed.”  

Ameya Upadhyay, partner at Flourish Ventures, said: “For the first time in Africa, Zone’s technology enables direct communication between participants in the payment ecosystem. We believe this is a fundamental leap that will allow customers to experience a completely new standard of reliability, speed and cost efficiency at the ATM, at POS machines and online.” 

Ido Sum, partner at TLcom Capital, added: “The Company’s innovative infrastructure has the potential to deliver tremendous value to financial institutions, enhancing the overall payments experience for end-users and driving down costs for hundreds of millions of consumers and businesses that rely on digital payments in Africa every day.”  

Image: Zone 

Josh Poyser
Josh Poyser is an editor at FinTech Intel. He has written about fintech for several years and appeared at FinTech Connect 2023 on the 'Unlocking Success: The Art of Fintech PR' panel.