Founded in 2013 by Elizabeth Rossiello, BitPesa is a blockchain payments startup and digital foreign exchange that focuses on payments to and from African markets, including Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal and others. The payments it facilitates are settled on the blockchain instead of using traditional financial infrastructure. BitPesa has offices in Nairobi, Lagos, London, Madrid and Luxembourg.

BitPesa received $1.1 million in funding through a round led by Pantera Capital in 2015. In 2017, the company raised a further $2.5 million in a Series A funding round led by Draper Venture Capital. 

BitPesa’s original product enabled individuals to send bitcoin at a fixed rate, mitigating the exchange risk. They subsequently pivoted toward business-to-business payments after receiving an influx of inquiries from businesses and high volume traders.

This shift resulted in two central products: BFX and TransferZero. BFX is a platform that facilitates business-to-business payments, both small and large. Businesses send payments to BitPesa in their local currency, and BitPesa converts the payments into the local currency of the recipient and sends the payments to the recipient’s bank account or mobile money account within 48 hours.

TransferZero is an application programming interface (API) that organizations and businesses can utilize to create remittance businesses. The technology was originally created by Spanish payments startup TransferZero, which BitPesa acquired in 2018.

As of 2019, BitPesa users could send money to and from Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria, Uganda, Tanzania, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Morocco and Senegal, while teaming up with over 60 banks around the African continent.