East-meets-West: An African Strategic Acquisition Story

East-meets-West: An African Strategic Acquisition Story

Grit & Growth

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Meet Adam Abate and Tayo Oviosu from Paga, and Victor Basta, CEO of DAI Magister, and hear about the hurdles and high points of an East-meets-West African fintech acquisition.Adam’s entrepreneurial journey began when he and two fellow Ethiopians started Apposit, a consulting firm building technology that would work in African contexts — low bandwidth, low human capital, and affordable. Turns out that was exactly what Tayo needed to create Paga, now the leading payments platform in Nigeria. What started as a simple consulting agreement turned into a long-term, strategic relationship and ultimately paved the way for Paga’s acquisition of Apposit in 2020.Victor Basta says while this isn’t the norm for acquisitions, it’s a wise strategy to develop relationships with the people you might acquire or be acquired by. Victor helps fast-growing, tech-enabled businesses like Paga do everything from raising capital to acquisitions. He says one of the keys to getting bought, not sold, is “developing relationships with companies that are likely buyers years ahead of when they actually might buy. You can always go search for companies, but people buy people they know or people they've heard of, and there's a degree of comfort and confidence with that.”The two entrepreneurs learned a lot in the process about the importance of trust, talent, and having a shared vision that will make both sides of the acquisition feel right about the decision.According to Adam “A lot of it came down to gut and how you really felt about it inside. Did all the pieces fit together? Did you wake up every day thinking, yes, this is the right decision despite the difficulties in negotiation? Even now, almost two years down the line with all the little problems we faced along the way I often asked myself, "was it the right decision?" and overwhelmingly it comes back to yes because the fundamental principles of why we got into discussion in the first place...are still there. They haven't changed.”Listen to Adam and Tayo’s story and Victor’s insights to learn how to set your own business up for buying or selling to the right partner.
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Meet Adam Abate and Tayo Oviosu from Paga, and Victor Basta, CEO of DAI Magister, and hear about the hurdles and high points of an East-meets-West African fintech acquisition.Adam’s entrepreneurial journey began when he and two fellow Ethiopians started Apposit, a consulting firm building technology that would work in African contexts — low bandwidth, low human capital, and affordable. Turns out that was exactly what Tayo needed to create Paga, now the leading payments platform in Nigeria. What started as a simple consulting agreement turned into a long-term, strategic relationship and ultimately paved the way for Paga’s acquisition of Apposit in 2020.Victor Basta says while this isn’t the norm for acquisitions, it’s a wise strategy to develop relationships with the people you might acquire or be acquired by. Victor helps fast-growing, tech-enabled businesses like Paga do everything from raising capital to acquisitions. He says one of the keys to getting bought, not sold, is “developing relationships with companies that are likely buyers years ahead of when they actually might buy. You can always go search for companies, but people buy people they know or people they've heard of, and there's a degree of comfort and confidence with that.”The two entrepreneurs learned a lot in the process about the importance of trust, talent, and having a shared vision that will make both sides of the acquisition feel right about the decision.According to Adam “A lot of it came down to gut and how you really felt about it inside. Did all the pieces fit together? Did you wake up every day thinking, yes, this is the right decision despite the difficulties in negotiation? Even now, almost two years down the line with all the little problems we faced along the way I often asked myself, "was it the right decision?" and overwhelmingly it comes back to yes because the fundamental principles of why we got into discussion in the first place...are still there. They haven't changed.”Listen to Adam and Tayo’s story and Victor’s insights to learn how to set your own business up for buying or selling to the right partner.
...Read More