The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has invested in a Pakistani tech firm that facilitates small shops through its micro-retailer digitisation and payment platform.
“The foundation has invested a part of its $2.5 billion Strategic Investment Fund (SIF),” Systems Limited announced through a notification to Pakistan Stock Exchange on Wednesday.
It, however, remains unknown as to how much investment the foundation actually made. Systems Limited announced that its subsidiary E-Processing Systems BV has received an investment from the foundation.
“E-Processing Systems owns and operates OneLoad, Pakistan’s leading micro-retailer digitisation and payment platform used by over 50,000 small shops across the country,” it said.
“OneLoad is one of the largest mass market financial access platforms in the country that enable its retailers to deliver telecom, digital payments and banking services to over 7 million unbanked customers each month.”
The company also received an in-principle approval from the State Bank of Pakistan to operate as an electronic money institution, the statement said. The foundation’s programme-related investment will support OneLoad’s efforts to bring more rural merchants into a digital ecosystem, enable increased usage of digital transaction among low-income individuals and provide additional financial services to under-banked population, it said.
This investment is being made through $2.5 billion SIF, which aims to stimulate private sector-driven innovation, encourage market-driven efficiencies, and attract external capital to global health and development initiatives that improve the health and wellbeing of underserved people around the world.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 18th, 2021.
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