Digital payment Startup, Kudi, has secured a Series A funding that will enable the company to fast-track its expansion across Nigeria. The company raised $5 million from several existing investors.
Purpose of the fundraising:According to a press statement issued to Nairametrics, Kudi intends to increase its network of bank agents stationed across Nigeria. The fund will also afford the company to launch financial services in partnership with banks and fintechs, all in a bid to serve millions of Nigerians.
The financial products include: savings, loans, insurance to both small and informal businesses and individuals.
Why Kudi matters: Majority of the transaction in Nigeria still rely largely on cash. Moreover, Kudi believes that digital solution alone cannot drive financial inclusion. Instead, Kudi‘s agents are needed to achieve the objective.
According to the statement:
“Ninety per cent of all transactions in Africa still rely on cash. More specifically in Nigeria, 80% of the population works informally and is paid cash in hand. With figures still as high as this, digital solutions alone are not enough: Kudi’s agent network bridges this gap.
“Kudi’s mission is to make financial services accessible and affordable for all Africans. Kudi does this by enabling underbanked and unbanked Africans access to basic financial services like money transfers, bill payments and cash withdrawals through an agent’s network. Since its launch in January 2017, Kudi has grown its agent network to over 4,500 merchants and is adding new agents every day. The company makes it easy for agents to sign-up and have more visibility into their day-to-day operations. They process over $30 million in payments each month.”
Investors who participated: The Series A fundraising was led by Partech and joined by Michael Seibel (YC CEO). Also, Khosla Ventures and YC participated.
New appointment: Meanwhile, the General Partner at Partech and Co-lead of the Partech Africa Fund, Tidjane Dème, will join Kudi’s Board.
Kudi and Partech’s reaction to the Series A fund
The Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Kudi, Yinka Adewale, said the company will now focus on building on its impressive performance by increasing its workforce with 15 new members.
“We’re excited about the growth we’ve experienced over the last 12 months. We literally grew from processing $1.1M to $30M monthly with the same team.
“Going forward, we’ll be hiring engineers, product managers and product designers to ensure our product is 10X better than what’s on the market today even as we grow our network of agents”, says Adewale.
The company currently accounts for 4,500 merchants and is adding new agents every day.
While for Partech‘s General Partner, Tidjane Dème, Agent networks are important in the spread of digitalisation in Africa, so Partech believes in the objective of Kudi, which he said has produced impressive growth since their inception.
“Agent networks are the backbone of African digitization as they offer an effective way of distributing digital services. We believe that Yinka and Pelumi have the right vision to build the best platform for agent networks.
“The Kudi team has built an excellent product that their agents love to use. As a result, Kudi has demonstrated an impressive growth since its inception.”
Meanwhile, Y Combinator‘s Michael Seibel said the growth of digital payments in Nigeria will be accelerated by Kudi which is serving as a middleman between cash and the digital payment system.
“For an economy that largely depends on cash, the growth of digital payments in Nigeria will be accelerated by Kudi as they provide a gateway between cash and digital, and we think that’s a huge opportunity.”
Kudi‘s mission is to make financial services accessible and affordable for all Africans. Kudi does this by enabling underbanked and unbanked Africans access basic financial services like money transfers, bill payments and cash withdrawals through their agent network. Kudi, a YC alumni, was founded in Nigeria in 2016 by Yinka Adewale (Co-Founder, CEO) and Pelumi Aboluwarin (Co-Founder, CTO).
About Kudi’s founders
Yinka Adewale is a graduate of Obafemi Awolowo University. He co-founded Sanwo Touch2pay, originally a payment platform for university students in Nigeria and he co-founded clinicfy, a cloud-based financial software for hospitals to track their revenues and invoices.
Pelumi Aboluwarin is a Machine Learning and Software Engineer. He previously co-founded Qwikgist, a news aggregation service acquired by Businessday and worked in a variety of software engineering roles for companies like Nexmo (acquired by Vonage) and Jumia (they recently filed for an IPO on NYSE).
Partech is a global investment firm with offices in San Francisco, Paris, Berlin and Dakar. They bring together capital, operational experience and strategic support for entrepreneurs at seed, venture and growth stages across multiple continents, with over $1.2 billion investment capacity.
Investments range from $200,000 to $50 million in a wide range of technologies and businesses for enterprises and consumers, from software, digital brands and services, to hardware and deep tech across all major industries. Companies backed by Partech have completed more than 20 initial public offerings and more than 50 strategic exits above $100 million.
#EndSARS: Obasanjo tells President Buhari to restrain military from using force
Obasanjo has called on President Buhari to take swift action before things spiral out of control.
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to restrain the military and other security forces from using brute force to quell protests.
Obasanjo disclosed this in a statement titled, ‘Statement on Violence Against Protesters In Nigeria: An Appeal for Calm’ issued on Wednesday.
According to him, it was obvious that President Buhari and his lieutenants didn’t exhaust all avenues before deploying soldiers.
He said history had shown that killing protesters only worsens the crisis and makes dialogue impossible.
He said, “The shooting and murder of unarmed protesters, no matter the level of provocation, has never been effective in suppressing public anger and frustration. Instead, such actions only reinforce the anger and frustration of the populace and close the window of dialogue and peaceful resolution.
“It is clear that Mr President and his lieutenants did not exhaust the opportunities for dialogue with the protesters before resorting to the use of force.”
Obasanjo said it was worse that despite overwhelming evidence, the authorities were still denying ever killing protesters.
He, therefore, called on the President to take swift action before things spiral out of control.
The former President stated, “It is worse that there is a denial of wrongdoing in spite of overwhelming visual evidence. Great harm has been done but it can be stopped before it completely spirals out of control.
“We are at a critical moment in this crisis and the President must act now before it is too late. This time demands leadership and mature leadership at such.”
He said most of the demands made by the #EndSARS protesters, which had been conveyed to the President by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State were not unrealistic.
The former President said, “It is imperative that leaders at all levels, starting with Mr President, must demonstrate meekness, humanity and sincerity in meeting the legitimate demands of the protesters and ensuring that justice is served where it must be served. These are the potent ways of ending this crisis now.”
However, the former President also called on the youths to give peace a chance, adding that the destruction and looting must stop.
What to expect:
The youth are expected to give peace a chance while making their legitimate demands. They must be mindful of miscreants who will infiltrate their ranks and give the protests a bad name so that trigger-happy forces will kill them.
#EndSARS: Channels TV, LTV allegedly attacked
Channels Television and Lagos State Television (LTV) have been reportedly shut down.
Channels Television and Lagos State Television (LTV) were reportedly attacked and shut down by unknown persons.
According to a staff of Channels TV, who prefered to remain unnamed, the Management moved them to a safe location within the premises, when hoodlums kept banging the gate in a frantic attempt to gain access to the premises.
As of the time of this report, the attempt has been unsuccessful and the station has since returned to air.
In the case of LTV, operations were shut down after hoodlums attacked the station on Wednesday.
Members of staff of LTV said they have been asked to vacate the premises of the station, located at Alausa Lagos.
At present, the station has gone off the air.
An Editor in the station, who pleaded to be kept anonymous, disclosed that the station was attacked by hoodlums around 9 am today.
Details later …
#EndSARS: Access Bank debunks aiding military onslaught against Lekki protesters
Access Bank has dismissed rumours on social media suggesting it aided military onslaught against protesters.
Access Bank Nigeria Plc has vehemently debunked rumour making the rounds that it aided the military onslaught against peaceful #EndSARS protesters at Lekki, by allowing military snippers access its head office tower for operations.
Backstory: Recall that Nairametrics had earlier reported on how soldiers allegedly fired gunshots to disperse #EndSARS protesters in Lekki yesterday.
In view of this development, there have been public outcries and ensuing allegations, one of which is that Access Bank Nigeria Plc aided the military onslaught.
What they are saying
In response to the allegations, the bank first reacted to the development by expressing condolence. A verified tweet by the bank read thus: “We are deeply saddened to hear about the unfortunate loss of innocent lives yesterday at the Lekki Toll. We pray that the souls of the innocent rest in peace”.
In addition, the bank stated: “We wish to address the statement by Arise TV alleging that Military Snipers were allowed access to our Head Office Tower for operations at the Lekki Toll Gate area. This is absolutely untrue. The video shared on Arise TV featured an employee of the bank conducting routine maintenance at the Tower location. It is unfortunate that this was reported as a sniper without any proof. As a corporate citizen with the purpose of impacting lives positively, we will never endanger the lives of Nigerians.”
We wish to address the statement by Arise TV alleging that Military Snipers were allowed access to our Head Office Tower for operations at the Lekki Toll Gate area. This is absolutely untrue.
— Access Bank Plc (@myaccessbank) October 21, 2020