Tayo Oviosu

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Tayo Oviosu
African Innovator Tayo-Oviosu.jpg
Tayo Oviosu - Founder: Paga. Picture: Goodwell
Lagos, Nigeria
Alma materStanford University
OccupationCo-Founder and CEO of Paga
Known forCo-founding and being the CEO of Paga
WebsiteLinkedIn Profile

Editor: Tamia Adolph and Editor: Charissa Cassels

Tayo Oviosu is the founder and CEO of Paga, a Lagos-based mobile money service. Paga was launched in Nigeria in April 2009, it was launched in Lagos, Kano and Onitsha.[1] Oviosu graduated with a degree in Electric Engineering from the University of Southern California in 1998. Oviosu then went on to complete his MBA at the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University in 2005.[2]

Oviosu has gained significant praise for his contribution to African Innovation and forms part of the growing return of African Innovators to the continent. In addition to the success of his FinTech startup, he co-founded Kairos Angels,[3] an angel investment club.


Oviosu was born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria. At the age of 16, he moved to the United States where he completed his engineering degree, cum laude at the University of Southern California.[4] Oviosu had a natural penchant for venture capital, however, started his career off working as a senior consultant for Deloitte Consulting.[5] He led numerous system integration projects before making the move to formally pursue his interest in business. Oviosu completed his MBA at Stanford University.

He was the manager of corporate development at Cisco Systems in San Jose, California, where he was responsible for strategy, acquisitions, private equity investments in Virtual Computing, Application Networking, Security and Network Management.[6] Cisco Systems is an American multinational technology company that is based in San Jose.[7]

Before his return to Africa, Oviosu worked at Biomorphic VLSI,[8] as a Semiconductor Chip Design Engineer and Event411 as a Software Engineer - two startups based in Los Angeles.

Before founding Paga, Oviosu was the VP at Travant Capital Partners, a private equity fund in West Africa. After a variety of other positions in High-tech and Private Equity, Oviosu focused his attention back on Nigeria and in April 2009, founded Paga. Oviosu identified the potential of leveraging the established mobile phone boom on the continent and developing the tech to reduce Africa’s dependency on cash. His primary goal was to expand financial access to the underbanked population.[9]


Oviosu successfully raised US$ 10-million in Paga’s Series-B funding. The round was led by the London-based Global Innovation Fund, Impact investors, Goodwell Investments, Unreasonable Capital and Omidyar Network, along with Mauritius-based private equity fund Adlevo Capital, were also participants in the round.[10] Paga received a US$ 2-million grant from Enhancing Financial Innovation & Access (EFInA) to develop and deliver low-cost financial products through Paga’s nationwide agent network. The EFInA is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

He invested in ChopUp on 1 September, 2014. This investment, Angel Round, was valued at $100k.[11]

Notable Angel Investor, Jim O’Neill, invested in Paga after interviewing Tayo Oviosu as part of a BBC radio programme discussing developing countries and their economies.[12]

Since its launch, Paga has raised US$ 34.7-million in funding.[13]

Oviosu is an investor in ReelFruit, a fruit processing agribusiness and ChopUp, a mobile gaming startup.

Awards and Achievements

In 2014, CNBC awarded Oviosu with the Entrepreneur of the Year West Africa award. The African Leadership Network recognized Paga and Oviosu for the company’s outstanding growth in 2015.[14]

Oviosu has led numerous investment expansions and acquisitions for Cisco (worldwide leader in IT and networking). These have included the US$ 130-million acquisition of Reactivity, Aquantia, and Guardium. Oviosu was also responsible for the private sale of 22% of Cisco’s South African operations to a consortium of investors.[3]

Oviosu is a member of the Young Presidents’ Organisation.[15] The Young Presidents’ Organisation is a global leadership community of chief executives.[16]

He was a speaker at the TechCrunch Battlefield Africa 2017 in Nairobi, Kenya, on 11 October, 2017.

He was a speaker at the TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2018 event on 05 September, 2018 in San Francisco.[17]

Oviosu was selected by Endeavor to join the organisation at Endeavor’s 84th International Selection Panel that was held in Stellenbosch from 11 December to 13 December, 2018.[18]