betPawa is an online betting brand that is owned by Mchezo Limited. The betting brand runs on a gaming technology platform provided by PawaTech, a company belonging to the same group as Mchezo.
It was launched in Uganda in 2014 before expanding to other markets within the continent to the current 11 countries. It has operations in: Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Malawi, DRC, Zambia, Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroon and Benin. The brand offers fun and responsible gaming, leveraging on technology to bring dreams to life.
betPawa operates on smart-phone and desktop devices only, allowing users to make deposits and withdrawals with mobile money as the sole method for transacting . The betPawa tagline is bet small, win BIG, in reference to its low minimum stakes and 1000% Win Bonus. Its products include Sportsbook, Jackpots, Virtual Sports and Casino (called Games in some countries).
The betPawa brand is owned and operated by Rwanda-based Mchezo Limited. The brand is licensed to operate in each territory via contracts with locally established companies, giving local investors a chance for a stake in the gaming industry in their respective countries.
betPawa origins can be traced back to the seed-fund 88mph, founded by Danish entrepreneur Kresten Buch. In 2014 the fund took a minority stake in Uganda-based sport betting company Mbet.
After the initial launch of operations in Uganda, the brand quickly expanded to Kenya the following year. In 2017 betPawa was available in Nigeria and Zambia, with Ghana and Tanzania opening in 2018. Since then the brand has expanded its African footprint to 11 markets in total (at the time of writing, 2023). Kresten Buch continues as Group CEO until today.
betPawa Owner Mchezo
As of 2023, the betPawa brand is owned by Mchezo Limited, a Rwandan company based in Kigali. This has been a long-term plan to move betpawa HQ into Africa to increase local employment and enhance African ownership.
In April 2023, Ntoudi Mouyelo was appointed as the first Managing Director of Mchezo and Chief Commercial Officer of the group. Mouyelo served as the Chief Investment Officer of the Kigali Financial Centre for 3 years, a publicly funded company established to position Rwanda as a preferred financial jurisdiction for investments into Africa.
To support the establishment of the operational headquarters, a 100 person office in Kigali will be built to service the pan Africa customer support team. Beyond the services hub, the group through local licence operators, provides employment to around 300 young professionals across the continent.
In 2022 betPawa began a project giving away $2 million in shares, making 200,000 of its most loyal customers shareholders in Mchezo.
Partnerships and Sponsorships
In 2018 betPawa sponsored Empawa Africa, the first music accelerator program which included the production of 100 Music videos from emerging African artists. Empawa Africa is the creation of the Afrobeat artist, Mr Eazi. He appeared in TV advertisements for the company across multiple countries in 2021 and acted as their official brand ambassador in 2022. Oluwatosin Ajibade, aka Mr Eazi, is also one of the local licence operators in Ghana.
betPawa became the title sponsor of the Ghana Premier League, getting the naming rights for the League, in 2022. For the 2022/2023 season, players of the clubs participating in the betPawa Premier League in Ghana enjoyed the Locker-room bonus, a first-of-a-kind reward scheme to motivate them and make the league more competitive.
In June 2023, betPawa became the official sponsor of the Rwandan national basketball league, announcing a sponsorship of the Rwanda’s Basketball governing body - FERWABA, in a deal valued at RWF405.5 million (USD 350,000).
betPawa was a sponsor of the inaugural People’s Cup, held in Maseru on Saturday 29th April 2023. The contribution of betPawa helped to bolster the success of the tournament, which is an initiative of the Lesotho Premier League management committee, and allowed the League to increase the prize money for the top four teams.