Nigeria’s Sudo Africa raises US$3.7M pre-seed for its card issuance API platform

NIGERIA – Sudo Africa, a fintech providing a map issuance API for developers and businesses in Nigeria, has raised US$3.7 million in pre-seed funding.

The latest pre-seed round was led by Global Founders Capital (GFC) with participation from Picus Capital, LoftyInc Capital, Rallycap Ventures, Kepple Africa, Berrywood Capital, ZedCrest, and Suya Ventures.

The card-issuing API is increasingly attracting attention from investors who think it’s the next big thing in a sector that has attracted the most VC dollars in Africa.

The chance to develop the platform arose from the challenge the founders faced while trying to issue cards at their previous startup.

At one point we wanted to issue cards and we partnered with one of the local banks in Nigeria,” says CEO Bakori.

They had to print up to 1,000 cards, but it took a lot of time and none of them worked because the bank couldn’t provide APIs for us to manage the cards or even control the use of those cards.”

The fintech landscape described by Bakori is one in which startups create siled interfaces that allow their customers to send or receive money from one another, but problems arise whenever global financial systems come into play.

His concern to customers is that banks take weeks or months to issue cards, but Sudo Africa takes days.

The start-up’s infrastructure, which is built in collaboration with licensed card issuers, enables it and any developer or merchant who joins its platform to issue online and offline cards to their clients.

Businesses can also customize and program cards to their liking, add functionality, and safely connect with other services on the platform.

The platform has a wide range of users including fintechs, microfinance banks, non-tech enterprises, government organizations, logistics providers, commercial banks, and e-commerce businesses.

When the cards are used to execute an online or POS transaction, the corporation collects interchange fees, and it takes approval fees when spending and location-based controls are performed.

The startup obtains card production and personalization fees at a lower cost compared to incumbents startups.

Sudo Africa is now the only company in this market that only provides virtual and physical cards to Nigerians.

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