KippaNigerian startup that is improving the lifecycle of small businesses across the country with a payments and financial management platform, has raised $8.4 million in an oversubscribed seed round.
Startup – launched last June by Kennedy Ekezie-Joseph, Duke Ekezie and Jephthah Uche – get investment from backers like Goodwater Capital, TEN13 VC, Rocketship VC, Saison Capital, Crestone VC, VentureSouq, Horizon Partners and Vibe Capital. Kippa says this investment will enable them to develop financial products that help SMEs grow their business and grow their teams in Nigeria.
Company announced its $3.2 million seed money from Target Global and other investors last November.
Before such solutions, many of these businesses took activities like money management, inventory tracking, and employee and supplier records offline, mostly with pen and paper. or ledger. All of these inefficiencies, in addition to being time-consuming, lead to errors and affect cash flow and finances, which is why nearly 9 out of 10 small businesses fail in the first 5 years. first.
As a result, startups have come up with various bookkeeping solutions to digitize the operations of these small businesses in the more than $200 billion worth of brick-and-mortar retail in Nigeria alone. With Kippa, small business owners can track their daily income and expense transactions, create invoices and receipts, manage inventory, and generally track their business up and down like how over time. In an interview with CEO Ekezie-Joseph last November, he said Kippa has more than 130,000 businesses in operation, ranging from small kiosks and corner shops to food vendors. local and high-class merchants. Although the platform has grown to accommodate more than 500,000 small businesses, Ekezie-Joseph did not say how many are active.
Any company that provides services to thousands of SMEs across different cities in Nigeria has an extensive distribution network to build new products. And in the case of Kippa – the company’s merchants span all 774 local governments in Nigeria – the company has made meaningful strides in what services it offers to merchants.
The majority of small businesses in Nigeria are not officially registered due to the cost and complexity of navigating the entire process. So, Kippa first launched what Ekezie-Joseph describes as one of the fastest matching products for small businesses a few months ago. “We built a product based on the existing Kippa product that allows businesses to sign up for 3 days for N15,000,” says Ekezie-Kennedy, the platform alternative. its platform to help these businesses incorporate legally. This feature forms the basis of Kippa’s plans to integrate financial products in addition to significantly attracting and increasing revenue, the CEO added.
Last week, the company announced that it has received a license from Nigeria’s apex bank, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), to act as a Super Dealer, much like OPay’s correspondent banking firms. and TeamApt. With the license, merchants on the Kippa platform can act as an agent and provide financial services such as cash withdrawals and deposits, opening bank accounts, paying bills and utilities, and insurance. insurance for individual customers who frequent their small stores for daily purchases.
“We have more than 500,000 merchants on our app and there are so many opportunities for us to do more for them and provide more financial services,” said Ekezie-Joseph. “The Premium Dealer License allows merchants and neighborhood specialty stores that already use our accounting app to become a one-stop shop for essential financial services to their customers. their.”
Having the best hands to drive its lightning efforts is crucial for a young, fast-growing company like today — Kippa claims their annual transaction is recorded on the platform has exceeded $3 billion, ten times more than last November. To that effect, the financial management platform has recruited former managers and senior executives at startups such as OPay, BharatPe, Khatabook, TeamApt, OKCredit, NIBSS and Unified Payments, among others. Some of them include Toyin Albert as payment services executive, Osagie Alonge as chief marketing officer, and Niyi Ajao, former VP at Nigeria Interbank Payments System (NIBSS) as chairperson.
Kippa raised over $11 million in a year of operation. The company and its competitors have convinced investors that the market they serve is large enough for all players to co-exist. Reports claim that an estimated 49.3 million business owners run small and medium-sized businesses in the country. But as these platforms offer different approaches to business – bookkeeping, connecting with vendors, banking and software – credit is the glue that makes things so difficult. should stick. However, Kippa’s credit and lending business, which the CEO predicted last year to generate revenue for the company, has been halted for the time being, hoping not too long to affect its ambitions to become a business. start-up small business. financial service provider.
“Credit remains a huge opportunity for us. And while we have lending licenses in Lagos and Abuja, we are taking our time building out the forks of the offering business and continuing to expand the transactional data we have across businesses. This allows us to build a healthier loan book when we start lending.”