Paystack success story, founders and how it all started - Startuppreneur
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Paystack success story, founders and how it all started

Paystack, a payment platform that helps buyers and sellers send and receive money respectively, did not come alive out of wishes, it was from the hardwork and experience of two Babcock alumni.

Paystack story is a story of opportunity meet preparation.

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Who are the founders of Paystack

 

Shola Akinlade

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Paystack Founder: Shola Akinlade

Shola Akinlade is not like our typical founders, he didn’t school abroad neither did he accumulate degree, he is just a normal man who was born and brought up in Nigeria, Lagos to be precise.

He attended St. Gregory’s College to pursue Science, there after he obtain a degree in Computer Science from Babcock University, Nigeria.

He worked in Heikenn for 2 years, before he opt out to develop Precurio; an open source project that helps Organisation. It was during this time that he started working for bank as a freelancer. There he saw problems faced by bank in sending and receiving money from abroad.

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Ezra Olubi

Paystack Founder: Ezra Olubi

Ezra Olubi is also deferent in his own way, he is not the type of business man we read about in school. He likes to keep his nail long and painted with colour that matches his lipstick. Most times is unconventional life often put him in confrontation with Police.

Ezra Olubi was born on November, 1986, in Ibadan, Oyo state. He attended Babcock University, where he met Shola Akinlade.

Career

Ezra Olubi has also worked as a freelancer and in Company like;

North Ocean Logistics and Solution, as web developer

As Chief Technology Officer of Jobberman

Alexander Haring Ltd, as Director

Pre paystack

Paystack started when Sola Akinlabi was faced with the problem of receiving and transferring money in and out of Africa. Then he was working with banks, so he was aware that banks have a lot on their hands, it would be difficult for them to tackle the gigantic problem of continental payment.

What of company like stripe, payoneer, and other America payment platform, can’t they come to Nigeria to solve it?

I’m sure Sola Akinlabi would have thought about this before paystack was launch, If we can analyse African startup very well, we will find out that it is hard for startup coming from abroad to excel in our ecosystem without having native as part of their founding team.

Doing business in Africa is hard, but natives has some edge over Americans and Europeans.

Sorry for the little digression

After carrying out problem/Solution fit he reached out to Ezra Olubi his long time friend. Ezra Olubi and Sola Akinlabi were tight friend back in Babcock, they met during programing meet up in Babcock.

Yeah your guess is right
Shola Akinlabi is a Programer

Together they tackle the problem, writing code and doing customer research. At a point it look like everything they’ve been building will crumble, when they can’t raise another seed round. But luck shine on them as they were accepted into famous and most difficult to enter incubator called, YC Combinator.

It was during their stay in YC that they perfect their business model and raised enough money that would last them till another round. Getting into YC gave paystack a name in Africa and abroad.

List of Paystack investors

Venture Capital and Incubator

  • Y Combinator
  • Tencent Holdings
  • Singularity Investments
  • Comcast Ventures

Angel investors

  • Abasiama Idaresit
  • Dr Ola Brown
  • Jason Njoku
  • Kola Aina
  • Olumide Soyombo
  • Sudeep Ramnani
  • Tom Stafford
  • Gbenga Oyebode
  • Wale Ayeni

Acquisition

Paystack was acquired by Stripe in 2020 at a valuation of $200m

Paystack Networth/Valuation

Currently paystack is Value at $200m+

Conclusion

To start a startup/ business is hard, more harder if you are living in Africa. Elon musk liken start up as falling down in an abyss while eating grass.

This is why entrepreneur need to solve problem that will give a huge return. You don’t want to spend 5 to 10 years of your life on solving thousand worth problem.

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