Paga: Ending Cash’s Reign in Emerging Markets

By Stephen Ciesinski, Lucy Montgomery
2021 | Case No. E748 | Length 21 pgs.

Tayo Oviosu founded Paga in 2009 to make life possible for the millions of Nigerians who operated in a cash-first environment. Paga helped users send money through peer-to-peer transactions, pay utility bills, and store money in a digital wallet. Paga launched a valuable human agent network throughout Nigeria, which enabled the company to build trust with customers and grow its user base significantly. By November 2020, Paga had over 26,000 agents in its network.

Oviosu hoped to build on Paga’s success by scaling to other countries with similar regulatory and cultural environments to Nigeria, beginning with Ethiopia and Mexico. To do so, Oviosu understood that he would have to be intentional about building a team that both understood Paga’s culture but was also authentic to the new market the company was trying to enter. Paga’s goal of reaching one billion users globally loomed in the distance, and Oviosu was keen to do his part to help end cash’s reign in emerging markets.

Learning Objective

The learning objectives of this case are:

  • Scaling a business across geographic areas.
  • Understanding how to build a team in a high-growth startup.
  • Working with a co-founder and building a lasting relationship.
  • Assessing new market opportunities.
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