Thepeer, an API-based startup that connects African businesses, raises $2.1M, led by Raba Partnership – TechCrunch

Thepeer, an API-based startup that connects African businesses, raises $2.1M, led by Raba Partnership – Nob6

Category : Startup

Author: Nob6 Team

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Thepeer, an African tech infrastructure startup connecting companies’ wallets, has raised a $2.1 million seed spherical led by the Raba Partnership. The information comes a yr after the startup raised $220,000 in pre-seed from a handful of angel traders, together with Paystack CTO Ezra Olubi and Edenlife CTO Prosper Otemuyiwa.

Taking part traders in Thepeer’s seed spherical embrace Rali_cap Ventures, Timon Capital, BYLD Ventures, Musha Ventures, Sunu and Uncovered Fund. African fintechs Chipper Money and Sew invested too.

Thepeer isn’t a pure fintech play; it sits on the intersection of information and finance. Nonetheless, the issues Kosisochukwu Chike Ononye and Michael ‘Trojan’ Okoh needed to unravel after they first launched the corporate in August 2021 affected fintechs greater than every other phase. Like different API-based startups, Thepeer powers infrastructure for primarily fintech companies, from small to medium-sized.

Final yr, the variety of African fintechs increased 17.3% to 573, from 491 in 2019, based on native publication Disrupt Africa. Most of those fintechs cater to companies and customers, providing totally different providers reminiscent of funds, neobanking, lending, investing and buying and selling. Whereas they supply digital wallets to assist facilitate cash transfers, there’s a scarcity of cellular pockets interoperability outdoors their ecosystem; in essence, transferring cash from one fintech pockets to a different fintech or non-fintech pockets (within the case of an embedded finance play) is difficult.

Thepeer says its APIs present an alternate community the place fintechs and companies can embed totally different units of merchandise into their purposes and web sites for simple cash motion by their clients.

Send, the providing it launched with, permits clients of companies who combine with its APIs, reminiscent of Eversend (a cross-border fintech) and Nguvu Well being (a teletherapy platform), to ship cash throughout each platforms utilizing identifiers reminiscent of emails or usernames.

“I made a purchase order from a vendor and couldn’t pay after utilizing a number of apps and couldn’t transfer cash from one pockets the place I had money to a different,” mentioned CEO Ononye, narrating why he and CTO Okoh began the corporate, to Nob6 in an interview. “After we launched our first product [Send], we went again to the drafting board as a result of there have been issues we wanted to get proper. In that course of, we found extra client and enterprise issues.”

After Ship, Thepeer partnered with Flutterwave — the unicorn whose API gateways are probably the most in depth in Africa for cellular wallets and financial institution accounts — and constructed on its platform to achieve extra attain. The partnership has helped it launch two extra B2B2C merchandise: Direct Cost and Checkout.

Direct Charge lets clients of about 15 companies fund their wallets from one another. Right here’s the way it works. As a consumer of Nguvu Well being, there are totally different strategies to fund a pockets, reminiscent of playing cards and financial institution transfers; Thepeer is an alternative choice. So, when Nguvu Well being customers choose Thepeer, they’ll select any of the 15 wallets, combine them with their Nguvu Well being pockets and provoke a direct cost transaction.

“One wonderful factor about Thepeer is that it has made it simpler for folks to pay for remedy on Nguvu Well being app, which makes it straightforward and inexpensive for Africans to entry remedy from their smartphones,” mentioned Nguvu Well being CEO Joshua Koya about Thepeer’s integration. “Our customers now have choices with Thepeer’s integration with different fintech wallets the place they’ll pay for remedy.”

Checkout works equally, nevertheless, on the websites of companies reminiscent of on-line meals and clothes shops. Thepeer reveals up as a checkout methodology when clients store on-line and lets them pay for gadgets from Bitsika, Eversend, Chipper Money and Paga wallets.

The one-year-old fintech startup has seen a mean month-on-month transaction development of 161% since its launch. And with the launch of Ship, its new product targeted on serving to companies ship cash between each other by way of its dashboard (not the consumer-facing one), its month-to-month transaction quantity has grown over 65x to “eight-figure” million {dollars}.

“We see our product as a platform powered by APIs that helps join fintechs, customers and companies by providing seamless cash motion,” mentioned Ononye. “At present, there are almost 600 fintechs throughout the continent, most of which function siloed wallets. Our aim is to make it attainable to attach and make funds from any pockets. We’re constructing an working system so that companies can supply extra providers to their clients.”

What began as a problem for the founders transferring worth round their varied apps has grow to be an infrastructure with a number of companies built-in and offering extra worth for his or her customers. This development is what made Raba Partnership lead the spherical. George Rzepecki, its founder, in an announcement, likened Thepeer’s transfer to unify Africa’s pockets ecosystem to how Flutterwave entered the fragmented card and cellular cash funds area in 2015.

“With the proliferation of client and B2B fintechs throughout Africa, Thepeer is constructing a foundational API-based funds layer the place fintechs can allow cash motion natively from inside their respective wallets and apps,” he continued. “We’re extremely excited to help this bold staff constructing a next-generation community.”

Thepeer continues Raba Partnership’s lengthy listing of fintech investments in Africa. Though it has invested in some client platforms like Thndr and Djamo, Raba is a recognized backer of infrastructure performs reminiscent of Flutterwave, Yoco, Sew, Axis Pay and OnePipe.

What subsequent for Thepeer? In keeping with Ononye, the startup is trying to roll out extra functionalities and wallets in different currencies (its present platform offers with Naira wallets) in addition to rent extra expertise and spend money on product improvement. “Our focus stays on product innovation and serving our clients who function throughout totally different geographies,” he mentioned.

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