Nigerian tech entrepreneur Shola Akinlade buys European football club one year after launching a club in Lagos


Shola Akinlade, the co-founder and CEO of Paystack, a prominent payment platform in Nigeria, has broadened his entrepreneurial horizons by acquiring Aarhus Fremad, a Danish second-division club, marking his entry into the European football industry.

Under the terms of the recent transaction, the Nigerian fintech founder, who is now venturing into the European sports industry, acquired a 55 percent stake in the club, thus becoming the majority owner of Aarhus Fremad with the aim of revitalizing the club.

As of the time of writing, Aarhus Fremad F.C. occupies the top spot in the Danish second division, boasting a six-point lead, which bodes well for their promotion to the top division by the end of the season.

The recent acquisition of the Danish second division club comes one year after Shola Akinlade established Sporting Lagos Football Club in Nigeria’s capital city, Lagos, as part of a strategic endeavor by the fintech founder to create a contemporary football club that will foster the development of the next generation of Nigerian sporting talent.
Presently, Sporting Lagos has become one of the rapidly expanding private football clubs in Nigeria and is presently competing in the Nigeria National League, the country’s second-division league.

As the CEO and co-founder of Paystack, one of Nigeria’s leading payment platforms, Akinlade has been instrumental in driving the technological disruption that has revolutionized the African financial services industry. His startup remains at the forefront of the push for payments and business growth throughout the continent.

In 2020, Paystack was acquired by Stripe for a whopping $200 million, and it currently processes close to 50 percent of all online payments in Nigeria. The platform has been a catalyst for the expansion of Africa’s top companies, facilitating the launch of new business models and the cultivation of stronger customer relationships.

In December 2021, Shola Akinlade and several other angel investors participated in a pre-seed funding round that raised $3.5 million for Edukoya, an ed-tech startup founded by Nigerian entrepreneur Honey Ogundeyi.