AUGUST 31, 2022
3 min Read
Investor Updates: August 31 2022
Duplo gets $4.3m seed to digitize African B2B payments
- Duplo, a B2B payments startup that enables African enterprises to collect payments from their clients and partners and make payments to their suppliers and vendors, has raised $4.3 million in seed funding.
- The news comes just seven months after Duplo announced its $1.3 million pre-seed investment. The YC-backed startup has received $5.6 million since Yele Oyekola and Tunde Akinnuwa launched last September.
- The seed funding, raised to help the company launch new products and expand into new business verticals in Nigeria, included participation from several new investors like Y Combinator and existing investor Oui Capital.
The informal business sector in Africa offers a lot of promise for startups looking to digitize B2B payment flows. The cash-dominated space is rife with late payments and stunts the growth of commerce. A survey covering 3,500 companies across 6 countries found that 23% of small businesses experience delayed payments. This explains why merchant acquisition is proving to be the “new” scramble for payment services in Africa. Duplo claims to have seen an increase in the number of businesses on its platform by 1,000% over the last three months while total payment volume (TPV) processed in the past five months has grown by 4,200%.
Wasoko launches innovation hub for startups in Zanzibar
- African e-commerce company Wasoko has launched the Wasoko Innovation Hub in partnership with the Zanzibar government.
- Located in Fumba Town, the new hub will focus on building technology solutions and become a home for more than 500 engineers, product managers, UX designers, and researchers.
- In addition to strengthening Wasoko’s operational efficiency, the new hub will specialize in developing tools to personalize customer experiences, improve delivery metrics, expand financial services options as well as collect key data and insights from across the value chain.
The launch of the innovation hub marks the latest milestone in Wasoko’s rapid growth, which saw the startup named Africa’s fastest growing company by the Financial Times in May 2022. This followed its $125 million series B equity round in March—the largest venture financing round ever raised for a non-fintech startup in Africa. Since its launch in 2016, Wasoko claims to have delivered three million orders to over 75,000 informal retailers across Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda, Côte d’Ivoire, and Senegal.
Zapper partners Stitch to enable one-click payments in SA
- South African mobile payments platform Zapper is teaming up with the payments and data API platform Stitch to enable Zapper’s more than one million customers to make secure instant electronic fund transfers (EFTs) payments at points of sale (POS).
- The service will be available via Stitch’s LinkPay product which offers secure one-click Instant EFT payments from a linked financial account.
- Launched in April, LinkPay is the first payment solution in Africa that tokenizes user financial accounts to enable one-click, verified payments and seamless payouts for returning customers.
Across Africa, payment services lead the fintech pack, as foreign and local startups look to digitize payments on the continent. It’s thus no surprise to see payment innovations like one-click checkout and even more significant for the ecosystem is the collaboration among leading players within the space. With the majority of financial transactions still cash-based, there remains a massive under-tapped market, especially in South Africa, where over $10 billion is moved annually in peer-to-peer transactions. Stitch launched its payments and financial data API there and in Nigeria in February 2021 and recently raised $21 million in Series A funding.