April 23, 2024
Dare Okoudjou Complete Biography, History, and Inventions

Dare Okoudjou, the CEO of MFS Africa, is based in Johannesburg, South Africa.

MFS Africa is a well-known African fintech company that operates the continent’s largest digital payments hub. The MFS Africa Hub, which connects over 200 million mobile wallets across 35 Sub-Saharan African countries, gives unparalleled access to the continent’s growing digital consumer base. Retailers, banks, cell carriers, and money transfer services benefit from mobile wallets’ unusual ubiquity as a safe, practical, and economical transaction channel. MFS Africa was named one of the Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in Africa in 2017 by Fast Company, an international business publication.

Before establishing MFS Africa, Dare developed MTN Group’s mobile payment strategy and managed its implementation in 21 Middle Eastern and African countries. He began his professional career as a management consultant with PricewaterhouseCoopers in Paris. He graduated from INSEAD with an MBA and an MSc in Telecom Engineering from ENST-Paris.

Quick Facts

Full Name: Dare Okoudjou

Birth: July 1976

Nationality: Porto Novo, Benin

Profession: Entrepreneur and Tech Leader

Who is Dare Okoudjou?

Dare Okoudjou

Dare Okoudjou is the CEO and founder of MFS Africa, a well-known Pan-African FinTech company that operates the continent’s largest digital payments hub. MFS Africa Limited provides financial mobile solutions. Payment, insurance, microlending, remittance, and money transfer services are all offered by the firm. 

Okoudjou rose to prominence as a result of the MTN Group’s creation of a mobile payment strategy. Okoudjou’s successful establishment of MFS Africa established him as a major figure in African innovation, and Fast Company named him one of the world’s most imaginative organisations in 2017.

Early Life

Okoudjou was born in July 1976. His mother was a nurse, while his father was a teacher. He was born and raised in Benin, West Africa.

He grew up and attended Lycée Béhanzin before moving to Casablanca in 1995 to spend a year preparing to enter the engineering degree at Lycée Mohammed V. This association gave him entry to France, where he studied telecommunications at Télécom Paris from 1996 to 1999.

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He began his career at PwC in Paris, where he worked on building Morocco’s first prepaid mobile service after helping to build one of Maroc Telecom’s two competitors at the end of the 1990s. His parents are a teacher and a nurse, respectively.

Okoudjou went to Morocco to continue his engineering scholarship after finishing high school.

Okoudjou studied at Telecom ParisTech (France) from 1996 to 1999 for his Master of Science in Electrical Engineering in Telecommunications. He earned a Master of Business Administration degree from Insead Business School in France in 2005.

After receiving his master’s degree, Okoudjou began a six-month internship in New York City in 1998. It was then that he decided to shift his professional focus from the United States to Africa. 

During the late 1990s dotcom boom, Okoudjou worked as a telecommunications consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers in Paris. His first assignment was to help Morocco develop a mobile network. Okoudjou thanks the lucky environment at PwC for connecting his understanding of technology and his responsibility to the larger community.

He worked in Morocco, France, and finally the United States, where he was part of the team that introduced the prepaid option for a Moroccan mobile network while working for PriceWaterhouseCoopers.

Okoudjou worked for MTN Group in Johannesburg, South Africa, after getting his MBA, where he developed the company’s mobile payment strategy and managed its implementation across all 21 of the company’s companies in Africa and the Middle East.In 

Okoudjou pioneered the groundbreaking technology of a single Application Programming Interface (API) in July 2019 in conjunction with WorldRemit.

By linking mobile wallet systems, banks, money transfer providers, and merchants via a single API, MFS Africa allows real-time, cross-border, and cross-network transactions.

Career

Dare’s life has revolved on two things since he left his hometown of Port-Novo, Benin, at the age of eighteen: making home calls and sending money. 

Calling became easier throughout time, but money transmission progressed much more slowly. He altered this by establishing MFS Africa. 

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Africa is divided into 54 independent states, each with its own mobile payment system. Because of MFS Africa’s cross-border and domestic interoperability across various schemes, clients on one scheme in Tanzania can trade with customers on another system in Cameroon. MFS Africa is now the continent’s largest digital payments hub, linking over 320 million mobile money wallets.

Dare believes that in order for businesses to succeed in Africa, they must operate on a global scale. He intends to foster the interchange of talents, thoughts, and best practices by using his own knowledge and expertise gained by founding MFS Africa. He intends to foster cross-pollination by discovering, promoting, and funding multinational teams solving continental concerns rather than local ones.

Creating MFS  Africa

MFS Africa

In 2006, Dare Okoudjou began working for MTN in Johannesburg. Then he managed a team in charge of establishing the marketing strategy for MTN Momo, a mobile money service. A year later, he was elevated to head of international mobile money development, a position he held for over two years before departing MTN to launch MFS Africa.

MFS Africa was founded in 2010 and purchased its first business in 2016. At the time, the management bought Sochitel, a British corporation operating in New Jersey, Johannesburg, Accra, and Douala that offered digital services (bill payment, discounts, etc.) and international phone credit top-ups, showing that he was already looking to expand beyond the continent.

MFS made its acquisition with GTP, following the acquisitions of Beyonic in Uganda in 2015 and Baxi in Nigeria in 2021, which offered access to the continent’s largest market. The entrepreneur believes that this transaction will help the company to expand in North America.

MFS Africa was created with $124 million in funding from twelve international investors and the US investment advisory firm FT Partners. FT Partners was also there when fintech acquired Baxi and Beyonic. The most current round of investment ended in November 2021, when AfricInvest, Endeavour, and Goodwell Investments donated $100 million to MFS Africa, including $30 million in debt.

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Awards & Achievements

Okoudjou founded Mobile Financial Services Africa in 2008 by simply raising $500k in six months.

During a stunning Series B fundraising round headed by Okoudjou in April 2008, the digital payments firm (MFS Africa) earned $2.5 million in funding from Venture Capital.

In June 2008, Okoudjou was chosen by the Insead Alumni Association to attend the iW50 Event and the South Africa Country Book Launch.

In 2012, Okoudjou and Orange Madagascar collaborated to establish Orange Money Transfer International (OMTI), a remittance service.

Okoudjou received $3.2 million in investments from FSD Africa Investments in 2018.

Okoudjou also conducted a panel discussion at the 2020 Investing in Africa Seminar in London.

Dare Okoudjou Net Worth

Dare Okoudjou is a Beninese tech tycoon and the CEO/Founder of MFS Africa Ltd, a mobile money transfer business that has an estimated 320 million mobile money customers interacting across Africa. According to Forbes Africa, he raised $500,000 in six months to start MFS Africa. In 2018, Okoudjou secured $3.2 million worth of investments from FSD Africa Investments. He has also directed a Series B funding round in which Venture Capital invested $2.5 million in MFS Africa[5]. Okoudjou is a keynote speaker at various technology and economic conferences, both on the continent and internationally.

Dare Okoudjou Wife

There is no publicly available information about Dare Okoudjou’s wife.

Dare Okoudjou Linkedin

Dare Okoudjou’s LinkedIn profile can be found in this link https://www.linkedin.com/in/dokoudjou/.

Dare Okoudjou Twitter

Dare Okoudjou’s Twitter handle is @dokoudjou. His Twitter profile describes him as “Passionate about making life better through technology. Crazy about Africa and its People. Founder & CEO @onafriq”. Additionally, some of his tweets show his appreciation for the writing of @ngozidozie.

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