#20: Paystack - How the FinTech payments platform went from Y Combinator to a $200M Stripe exit in 5 years
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Overview: Today, we’re going to talk about Paystack - the African payments infrastructure company that was acquired by Stripe in 2020 October. We’ll give some context of the Nigerian payments sector before 2015, Paystack's founding, early history, acquisition by Stripe & end with our views on its future outlook. This episode was recorded on January 10th, 2021.
Companies discussed: Paystack, Stripe, Flutterwave, Interswitch & Y Combinator (YC)
Business concepts discussed: Payments infrastructure strategy, low-end disruption, product-market fit (PMF), capital fundraising (Angels, Strategic investors, VCs), payments infrastructure & payments M&A strategy
- (01:00) - Why we’re talking about Paystack
- (03:12) - Payments landscape before Paystack
- (06:15) - Founders’ background - Ezra Olubi and Shola Akinlade
- (17:00) - Paystack products and services
- (22:46) - Paystack fundraising - Y Combinator, Angels, Seed & Series A
- (31:18) - Broader payment ecosystem in Nigeria, transaction volumes, etc
- (43:30) - Stripe’s acquisition of Paystack in 2020 October
- (52:10) - Bankole’s overall thoughts and future outlook
- (58:17) - Olumide’s overall thoughts and future outlook
- (1:14:02) - Recommendations, small wins and open questions
Olumide’s recommendations, small wins & open questions:
- Recommendation: Intelligence Trap (Why smart people make dumb mistakes)
- Recommendation: Matt Levine (Money Stuff): Awesome Bloomberg columnist back from paternity leave
- Small win: Using Project Gutenberg for free eBooks. Used it to get Adam Smith - Wealth of Nations.
- Other content: Paystack fundraising, valuations & founders ownership (detailed spreadsheet estimates)
- Other content: Paystack is joining Stripe video announcement
- Open question: What will be the biggest impact of the Stripe acquisition on the Africa tech ecosystem when we look back in 2025?
Bankole’s recommendations, small wins & open questions:
- Recommendation: Pinduoduo and Vertically Integrated Social Commerce , by Turner Novak
- Recommendation: Wolf Warrior 2 the movie - highest grossing Chinese movie of all time
- Recommendation: Shola's interview on the YC podcast link
- Small win: First run of the year yesterday.
- Open question: Re: Paystack’s exit to Stripe. Do you think the Paystack exit is the exception or a sign of more exits to come? It's tempting to think that this is validation, or a cynic would say - yes, it had to be them.
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