NIGERIA – CrowdForce, a Nigerian agency banking platform has secured US$3.6 million in a pre-Series A funding round to increase its PayForce agent network.
The latest funding round was led by Aruwa Capital Management, with participation from HAVAC and AAIC.
The firm plans to utilize some of the funds to grow its personnel, regional operations, and marketing in order to triple its active agent network to 7,000.
The platform will deploy more point-of-sale terminals to its partners over the next 12 to 18 months, as the business wants to provide financial services within a kilometer, or 15 minutes, of all Nigerians.
Since 2020, CrowdForce has been cash positive and has served 1.9 million unique customers across 25 Nigerian states.
The platform’s product, PayForce, a POS-enabled system providing ATM services, transfer, and bill payments, is present in market clusters and small businesses as both can meet high cash demand from customers in areas where bank branches are absent.
PayForce helps merchants manage their cash float safely and allows them to earn extra income by acting as an agent.
The company sells its POS terminals to a variety of industries, including pharmacies and reseller networks, adding to petrol stations.
“We are excited to lead this investment in CrowdForce. We see significant value in the product as it is solving a real problem by providing access to critical financial services in rural areas,” said Adesuwa Okunbo Rhodes, Aruwa Capita, Founder and Managing Partner.
CrowdForce has the most liquidity among Nigerian agent banking networks, straining more than 1.7 trillion through its partners.
The startup aims to solve Nigerians overreliance on cash, with 97% of retail transactions happing offline.
The startup was founded as MobileForms in 2015 where its objective was to collect and generate trustworthy offline data and deliver insights to penetrate remote and semi-urban regions for enterprises, NGOs, and development groups.
With a fresh culture of entrepreneurship, the urge to utilize technology to address issues increased, helping firms to revolutionize how thousands of Nigerians participate in the digital world.
Fintech companies are taking on banks and changing their traditional procedures by providing digitally native products and services, a simpler challenge has given the country’s low bank account penetration.
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