Nigerian fintech startup ImaliPay raises US$3M seed funding for expansion

NIGERIA – ImaliPay, a Pan-African fintech start-up pioneer in empowering the gig economy through its one-stop-shop financial services platform has raised US$3 million in a loan and equity round.

The latest seed round attracted participation from Leonnis Investments (investors in Oxygen Bank), follow on from Ten 13, Uncovered Fund, MyAsia VC, and Keisuke Honda of KSK Angels.

Other investors include Jedar Capital, Logos Ventures, Plug N Play Ventures, Untapped Global, Latam Ventures,  Cliff Angels, Chandaria Capital, Changecom, and other angels from Serbia, Kenya, and Norway to name a few.

According to the founders, the funds will be used to expand the company’s 50-person workforce, improve technology, and expand into other markets such as Ghana and Egypt.

The startup was founded in late 2020 by Tatenda Furusa and Oluwasanmi Akinmusire after Furusa experienced the difficulties ride-hailing drivers faced in obtaining working capital and dealing with events such as running out of fuel in Nairobi.

The startup offers a buy now, pay later (BNPL) gas product for two-wheeler gig platforms, which the company provided to SafeBoda riders through a partnership with a few petrol stations in Ibadan, Nigeria.

The company then moved on to develop a partner ecosystem, with some partners providing new consumer access while others maintaining the ecosystem and marketplace.

ImaliPay has expanded its offers to include spare parts, smartphones, power banks, savings and investments, and insurance.

The business has woven these products together, much like it has done with accident insurance and income protection loss insurance, so that gig workers can qualify for each based on their transactional activity.

The startup has partnered with platforms in Kenya and South Africa to provide additional financial services such as health and income protection insurance, savings, and collaboration with other gig platforms.

Among the 35 companies represented are Lami, Cowrywise, Ola Energy, Total Energies, HiFi Corporation, and Britam.

Through an independent app, chatbot, or USSD, it connects its APIs to partner companies or directly provides these financial services to gig workers on this platform.

In just 15 months, ImaliPay’s customer base has grown by 60 times. According to the company, “tens of thousands” of gig workers use the start-up’s services through 4,500 vendor points.

On ImaliPay’s platform, over 200,000 transactions have been completed. Transaction and referral fees are how the pan-African integrated financing provider makes money.

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