Skip to content

Sequoia-Backed Wave Takes on Telcos in Africa Mobile-Money War

  • Wave, funded by IFC and Sequoia, is valued at $1.7 billion
  • Africa mobile money transacted in 2021 at $697.7 billion
A Wave employee assisting customers
A Wave employee assisting customersSource: Wave

Mobile money agents in Ivory Coast halted service for Wave Mobile Money Inc. few weeks ago, in an attempt to stymie the growth of the young fintech gobbling up market share across West Africa.

The agents –- brokers who enable unbanked people to store and send money through cellphones –- were unhappy with their commissions and expected the suspension to severely cripple the company’s business. Instead, Wave had one of its best weeks since launching three years ago in West Africa’s third-biggest economy. “Transactions spiked for a couple of hours,” said Katier Bamba, the company’s general manager for Ivory Coast.