NIGERIA – ZirooPay, a mobile POS supplier based in Lagos, has raised US$11.4 million in a Series A round to accelerate expansion in Nigeria.
The round was led by Zrosk Investment Management, a Lagos-based venture capital firm with participation from existing investors such as Nordic Inventure, Fedha Capital, and Exotix Advisory.
The round also attracted individual investors including Petri Kivinen, Morgan Stanley, Abiodun Ajai, and Jonas Dromberg.
The new funds will be used to develop its payment infrastructure, accelerate expansion, and increase its personnel.
Launched in Nigeria in 2019 after 5 years of success in Helsinki, the startup’s pitch is its “Internet-free” technology.
The technology is a mobile platform for small companies to receive card payments via a mobile app and EMV-certified card reader in locations where there is no data access, especially in emerging economies.
Over the last three years, ZirooPay has increased tremendously with over 15,000 merchants using the firm’s POS machines and mobile app, according to the organization.
The platform has enabled retailers to process US$500 million, a 5,000 percent growth within three years in over 10 million transactions.
In order to create an omnichannel system for retailers, ZirooPay will use the expansion investment to grow its product suite and incorporate other payment channels and possibilities.
ZirooPay expansion plans come at a time when there is a continuous increase in POS points in Nigeria from 150,000 in 2017 to over 543,000.
The amount of POS payments in the country has expanded dramatically over that time, reaching more than US$1.2 billion in May 2021.
POS machines are used in Nigeria to handle card payments at retail outlets and for agency banking, a banking method that does not need a bank branch in which agents operate as human ATMs.
While terminals have a variety of suppliers (banks and fintech) and functionality, they all work largely online, with only a few having offline features.
Branchless banking experiences drawbacks such as a high rate of transaction failures caused by a poor internet connection.
According to Omoniyi Olawale, CEO of ZirooPay, this led to ZirooPay developing its own technology, and the firm now has a patent that allows it to process such events in real-time without requiring an internet connection.
Since most POS terminals lack bookkeeping capabilities, automating their procedures for appropriate bookkeeping is difficult.
ZirooPay’s mobile app enables small businesses in the retail, agency banking, hospitality, and services industries to undertake similar duties like monitoring sales and managing operations.
Although it’s interesting that the once cash-oriented Nigerian population is now embracing cashless payments as a mode of transaction, it’s also important to mention that it’s assisting to tackle Nigeria’s unemployment crisis while also promoting financial inclusion.
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