YC-backed supply chain fintech Pivo Africa is shutting down
Pivo, the Nigerian fintech startup that secured over $2.6 million in funding from Y Combinator, Ventures Platform, Mercy Corp Ventures, and other investors, is reportedly shutting down. Established in July 2021 by Nkiru Amadi-Emina (CEO) and Ijeoma Akwiwu (COO), Pivo aimed to provide banking services to small logistics and haulage businesses operating within Nigeria's supply chain sector.
Pivo initially raised $100,000 in a pre-seed round from investors such as Microtraction, FirstCheck Africa, and Rally Cap Ventures just two months after its launch. Subsequently, the startup secured a $2 million seed round in November 2022.
At that time, Amadi-Emina expressed plans to utilize the funds to expand into East Africa and introduce new products focusing on addressing payment challenges for SMEs in the supply chain sector. The decision to shut down raises questions about the factors influencing Pivo's closure and the challenges faced in achieving its expansion goals.
Pivo's mission was to address the liquidity challenges within Africa's supply chain by offering financing options to businesses in the sector, including logistics service providers, clearing and forwarding companies, and Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) distributors. The supply chain financing market in Africa was valued at an estimated $41 billion last year. However, the decision to shut down Pivo is indicative of broader challenges faced by African startups in 2023. The economic downturn and a growing funding gap have created a difficult environment for these startups, leading to closures for various reasons. Pivo's closure joins a list of over a dozen African startups that have ceased operations this year, underlining the challenges and uncertainties that continue to impact the startup ecosystem on the continent.