By Adedapo Adesanya
Nigerian startup Pivo, which helps freight carriers get paid faster by providing banking services and digital invoicing tools that track payments, has closed a $2 million seed round.
This is on top of a $550,000 pre-seed round he raised earlier this year.
The startup, which was part of Y Combinator’s S22 batch, counts Precursor Ventures, Vested World, Y Combinator, FoundersX and Mercy Corp Ventures as investors in this round.
In a statement, the company said it intended to use the funding to upgrade existing products, build new ones, hire talent and expand outside of Lagos, its first market and other African countries, particularly in East Africa.
The company, founded by Ms. Nkiru Amadi-Emina and Ms. Ijeoma Akwiwu in July 2021, provides financial services – credit, payments and expense management – to SME suppliers within large manufacturing supply chains.
Pivo leverages manufacturing supply chain relationships and deploys financial services to the SMEs within them, primarily truckers in this case.
Its platform’s credit game, Pivo Capital, serves as an advance payment alternative for truckers and allows logistics companies to meet all upfront costs – such as diesel and driver’s allowance – typically incurred during operations. Pivo Business, its payment reconciliation arm, helps these small businesses facilitate payments through peer-to-peer transfers and track payments with debit cards with spending controls.
“Following our $550,000 fundraising at the start of the first quarter of this year, we launched a new product, Pivo Business, with features that supply chain SMEs can use to achieve better cash flow. “, said the company.
The transaction volume of Pivo Business accounts increased by more than 400% between April and September. With this funding, we intend to build on existing products and develop solutions for supply chain anchors. »
The freight carrier-focused digital bank currently serves around 500 SMEs as direct customers and generates revenue by charging interest on capital and fees on payments processed.
Ms. Amadi-Emina said that Pivo Capital has disbursed over $3 million to SMEs and is currently seeing a 98% repayment rate while trading volume on Pivo Business has increased by over 400% between April and September from This year. The startup has recorded a total volume of $4.7 million from July to date.
For his part, Mr. Daniel Block, Chief Investment Officer at Mercy Corps Ventures, alluded to this experience when commenting on the reason for their investment in the startup.
“When we initially invested last year, we believed that the founders’ deep logistics industry expertise and commitment to unattended supply chain SMEs would allow Pivo to quickly carve out a deep moat for itself in the competitive fintech lending space. As Pivo launches additional products to transition from a pure fintech lender to a full fledged financial services platform, we are excited to see the company providing a full range of financial services specifically tailored to the needs of SMEs in the sector. of the unattended supply chain they serve. .”