A great deal has changed since we last-place flooded Nigerian fintech startup TeamApt two years ago. At the time, the company had just closed a $5.5 million Sequences A round from a single VC — Quantum Capital Collaborator, a house owned by Zenith Bank billionaire Jim Ovia.
TeamApt has relatively the fib. CEO Tosin Eniolorunda started the company in 2015 after leaving Interswitch. He was going head-to-head with the billion-dollar company when TeamApt received a license to operate as a payment switch require enterprise solutions for banks in the country.
TeamApt bootstrapped with receipt represented on a per-project basis. By 2017, the company, which optimized core bank back-office actions was servicing 26 financial institutions and processing $160 million in monthly events without parent a dime. A year later, TeamApt began liberating direct shopper and business-facing concoctions been aimed at driving monetary inclusion in the country.
Moneytor was a digital banking service for financial institutions to move transactions with web and mobile interfaces; Monnify, an enterprise software suite for small business management and AptPay, a approach fee infrastructure to streamline services used on banking mobile apps. And while these concoctions have been successful in their own right, it was Moniepoint, an bureau bank programme launched several months after the Series A, became the glaring instant hit because it interfaced with the public.
In developed markets where banking structures are sophisticated and have an lengthy reaching, the concept of agency banking is foreign. But for the development of marketplaces like Nigeria, it’s necessary because the bank to population fraction in Nigeria is low. According to reports, there are 4.3 fields per 100,000 parties compared to the world-wide median of 11. 7 branches.
Agency banking dishes as an alternative distribution strategy for traditional retail banking by using authorized personnel who acts as negotiators to expand the reach of the sprig system. For numerous Nigerians, enterprise bank presents a business access lifeline and one of the most viable options for accessing the financial services they need.
Moniepoint operators use portable apps and point-of-sale terminals to offer these patrons access to financial services like money withdrawal, currency deposit, stores displace, airtime acquisition and legislation fees. In less than two years, Moniepoint claims to account for 74% of agency banking transactions in Nigeria. The pulpit likewise processes about 68 million events worth over $3.5 billion monthly through 100,000 negotiators and 14 million patrons. When deals from Monnify are added, TeamApt said it treated $17.5 billion in the past 12 months.
But despite the sound success, TeamApt is poised to add digital banking services to Moniepoint’s dominant agency banking play.” What is the purpose behind this? With several players, was the agency banking space becoming too mobbed that Moniepoint couldn’t acquire more the shares ?” I query Eniolorunda.
” There’s still apartment for emergence in the agency space. We can actually is becoming more and more and make more share as more agents continue to enter the market and purchasers espousing bureau structures and point-of-sale structures. So the reason we’re trying to do this is for two reasons — a goal and commercial-grade rationalization ,” he answered.
Most well-known digital banks in Nigeria cater to the previously enlisted, neglecting the unbanked or underbanked purchasers that banks do not serve. Eniolorunda’s” mission rationalization” is to provide financial services for them via launching a digital bank. The commercial rationale?” We want to be the middle ground between banks and digital comings to actually dish the next billion Africans. The reason why we can do this is that we have demonstrated our traction in Nigeria to become the largest agency network really in the period of two years ,” the CEO contributed.
Judging by the transactions drawn on Moniepoint and since existing digital banks captivate the same patrons as big commercial banks, TeamApt sits on a big opportunity if it can convert a chunk of its offline customers online. Of track, this strategy isn’t new in itself. It is akin to what another digital bank targeted at the unbanked, Bankly has adopted although it has a different business pose. However, the good news is that should any of these scaffolds show substantial success, other platforms might widely adopt the approach and vanish a long way in providing digital banking services to the unbanked.
To test out this strategy at scale, TeamApt has secured an undisclosed Series B investment.
Investors who participated include lead investor Novastar Ventures which dominates a $200 million Pan-African fund; Dubai-based Global Ventures, FMO, CDC Group, Soma Capital, and Pan-African VC houses Kepple Africa and Oui Capital alongside some neighbourhood angel investors.
TeamApt, while continuing its switching business for initiative, will be looking to extend its gives immediately to customers and micro-SMEs with Moniepoint. In addition, and subject to regulatory approval, both authority and digital bank pulpits will exist under Moniepoint.
Brian Waswani Odhiambo, the head of West Africa at Novastar Ventures, said the VC firm backed TeamApt after realise the hurry at which its agency network became the leading operator in Nigeria. The firm, “by providing TeamApt with adequate fund to pursue its new chapter of growing, ” has no doubt the company will do the same with its digital bank platform.
In the past month, TeamApt has announced to that it’s currently in the process of closing another round. Eniolorunda confirmed this to TechCrunch that it would be a Series C round. While that is in progress, TeamApt will be shaping swelling plans to other African countries with strong economies in every region — Central, East, North and South. The fellowship is also keen on performing a few buys along the way to sounds significant opportunities for leveraging technology and offline distribution to provide financial services to Africa’s mass market.
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