Kippa Raises $8.4m to aid Financial Services to SMS

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A new payment fintech, Kippa, has declared that it has raised $8.4 million in a fresh round of funding in a move aimed at creating financial services that will aid SMEs.

The start-up offers digital business and financial management solutions to small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) in Nigeria.

In spite of tens of millions of Africans going online in the last ten years, most Nigerian business owners still conduct their operations offline. Small business administration is chaotic, from handling money to maintaining tabs on goods, financial documents, employees, and suppliers.

Shopkeepers must deal with labor-intensive, error-prone manual operations or pricey technology that prevents them from getting the funding they need to operate their enterprises.

“We expect the number of digitally active small businesses to grow exponentially over the next three to five years. As more small businesses come online, Kippa will own the money button on the devices of these merchants, says Kippa CEO Kennedy Ekezie-Joseph.

Founded in June 2021, Kippa raised pre-seed funding of $3.2 million in November 2021 with the idea of onboarding merchants to a simple-to-use mobile bookkeeping app to help them digitize bookkeeping and recover customer debt.

Currently, the company has further expanded its offerings. It provides a suite of financial services that enable small-sized business owners to incorporate their businesses legally, open bank accounts, receive and send payments, builds online web stores, and manage their entire business from one platform.

In the oversubscribed round, Kippa welcomed global investors, including Goodwater Capital, TEN13 VC, Rocketship VC, Saison Capital (the venture arm of Credit Saison), Crestone VC (led by Inanc Balci, co-founder and former CEO at Lazada), VentureSouq, Horizon Partners, and Vibe Capital.

Since the pre-seed announcement in November 2021, Kippa has made tremendous progress in recruiting ex-regulators and former senior executives at top start-ups, including OPay, BharatPe, Khatabook, TeamApt, OKCredit, NIBSS, and Unified Payments, amongst others.

Some key appointments include hiring immediate past Deputy Managing Director at the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS), Niyi Ajao as Chairman; Toyin Albert as Executive Director of Payments Services; and Osagie Alonge as Director of Marketing.

Spread across all 774 local governments in Nigeria and serving over 500,000 merchants within its network, the company has seen the annualized transaction recorded on the platform exceed $3 billion.

Last week, TechEconomy reported that Kippa obtained a license from the Central Bank of Nigeria to operate as a Super-Agent under the Payment Solution Service license category.

The license allows Kippa to leverage its massive merchant distribution to turn everyday neighborhood shops into a one-stop shop for essential financial services such as cash withdrawals and deposits, bank account opening, bills and utility payments, and insurance.

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