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A15 Sells 76% Stake In Emirati Fintech Startup TPAY To Helios

This is considered the region's first Dragon exit and the second major exit for A15 in three years after the sale of Otlob, one of the leading regional online food delivery businesses.

A15, a leading tech investment fund, announced today that it has successfully sold 76 percent stake in its Emirati fintech startup TPAY to Africa’s leading private investment firm Helios Investment Partners. TPAY is the fastest growing direct carrier billing (DCB) provider in the Middle East and North Africa.

"This partnership will expedite TPAY’s strategic growth plans and we are on track to double our year-on-year revenue in 2019," says TPAY's Co-Founder and CEO Sahar Salama. "My team and I are very proud of the business that we have built, and we look forward to taking it to even greater heights with our new partners, and to continue to set new benchmarks for the sector in the region.” The startup plans to leverage this new partnership with Helios to expand into new markets with a focus on Africa and Asia, as well as expanding its footprint into new sectors to use DCB and introducing new partners to the market.

This is considered the region's first Dragon exit and the second major exit for A15 in three years after the sale of Otlob, one of the leading regional online food delivery businesses. "Creating a Dragon in our fund is ground-breaking for the region. TPAY is a company that became a fund-maker owing to the unique approach in which A15 manages its portfolio companies," says Karim Beshara, chairman of A15. Following the acquisition by Helios Investment Partners, A15 and the current executive team will continue to lead the implementation of TPAY’s growth strategy, with guidance from the new owners, and both will remain invested in a total of 24 percent of the company.

"The DCB market fundamentals are very promising, and we strongly believe that with such a capable and experienced partner like Helios, TPAY is well-positioned to unlock its utmost potential," he adds. The global DCB industry is expected to register a compound annual growth rate of 23 percent during the 2018-2022 period, according to the latest market research report by Juniper Research. TPAY achieved a year-on-year growth in Gross Revenue and EBITDA of 64 percent and 162 percent, respectively, well above the global DCB industry.

Established in 2014, TPAY was the first open mobile payment platform to be launched in the region and, today, commands the largest market share at 80 percent in the DCB space across 16 countries, with a total reach of 673 million users. The number of active digital content subscriptions set-up through TPAY’s platform grew at a compound annual growth rate of 149 percent since 2015. The company processed 622 million successful transactions since its launch.

“TPAY’s business model leverages best-in-class technology and offers a high quality service to its partners; the company’s ability to develop strategic partnerships with key global merchants seeking an entry point into the Middle East and Africa speaks to the quality of the company’s offering and the management team," says Babatunde Soyoye, co-founder and managing partner of Helios Investment Partners.  

Main Image: (Left to Right) 
Fadi Antaki, CEO of A15; Khaled Bichara, Co-Founder of Accelero Capital that launched A15; Sahar Salama, CEO of TPAY; and Karim Beshara, Chairman of A15 and Co-Founder of Accelero Capital, celebrating TPAY exit deal, which created the first Dragon exit in MENA.

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