Payday, the once-high-flying fintech backed by Moniepoint, is in talks to be acquired by BitMama, a Nigerian crypto exchange startup, three months after TechCabal exclusively reported that it was speaking to potential buyers.

BitMama, led by CEO Ruth Iselema, has reportedly offered PayDay investors $1 million worth of equity in the crypto company at a $30 million valuation.

“Favour reached out to me because we’re building products beyond crypto; one of those products is Changera, and it made sense to me,” said Iselema. While Bitmama started as a crypto exchange, it now focuses on global services, including remittance, Iselema shared.

Payday is now in talks with Bitmama
Payday is now in talks with Bitmama

For the potential acquirer, it will mean they don’t have to start Changera, Bitmama’s relatively new remittance service, from scratch. They’ll also not need to create a new software stack or spend on acquiring new users.

“The deal is a work in progress,” maintained Favour Ori, the CEO and founder of Payday. “If the deal goes through, the result will be a strong team with much more efficiency.”

Bitmama will take on Payday’s customer deposits and liabilities if the deal goes through, said one person close to the deal.

Publicity highs and lows

When Favour Ori started Payday, he gained positive publicity on Twitter with optimism for his version of the company’s future. The company also became a payment partner for Starlink, the Elon Musk-owned internet service provider.

Ori’s brash style also attracted praise, with one founder admiring Ori’s style of “slapping down overly demanding customers.” Yet Payday had real problems.

A wave of complaints claiming customer accounts had been blocked with no information was not disputed by the company, and discontent among employees soon revealed that Ori was earning a salary of $15,000 monthly before slashing it to control the company’s burn rate.

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this article said Bitmama offered Payday investors $10m of equity. New information suggests that the figure is instead $1 million.

Get the best African tech newsletters in your inbox