Pivo Africa raises $2M seed round to expand product offerings

Tomiwo Ojo
Pivo Team
The Pivo team…

Pivo Africa announced today that it closed a $2M seed round with participation from Precursor Ventures, Vested World, Y Combinator, FoundersX and Mercy Corp Ventures.

Pivo is an all-in-one financial services platform for SME vendors – logistics and transport, suppliers, and wholesale distributors – that operate within large supply chains.

Launched in 2021, the company provides credit, transaction and expense management to improve customer cash flow. With Pivo, SMEs can make, collect and track payments with ease.

Pivo Africa

Pivo will use the capital to upgrade existing products and build new products to improve transaction management and payment reconciliation for supply chains. The planned upgrade will include enhanced payment capabilities for typical recurring payments specific to their customer group.  The company also plans to establish its presence outside its Lagos office, expand operations to East Africa and grow its team. 

“After our pre-seed raise of $550,000 early in Q1 of this year, we launched a new product, Pivo Business, with features that supply chain SMEs can use to achieve better cash flow,” Nkiru Amadi-Emina, CEO and co-founder, said in a statement seen by Technext.

“The transaction volume of Pivo Business accounts grew by over 400% between April and September. With this funding, we intend to build on existing products and develop solutions for supply chain anchors.” 

Nkiru Amadi-Emina, CEO and co-founder of Pivo.

“When we initially invested last year, we believed that the founders’ deep logistics industry expertise and commitment to unattended supply chain SMEs would enable Pivo to rapidly carve out a deep moat in the competitive fintech lending space,” Daniel Block, Investment Principal at Mercy Corps Ventures said.

Amadi-Emina launched an on-demand delivery platform targeted at e-commerce brands in North and Central Africa in 2017. The platform was acquired by Kobo360, one of Africa’s most prominent e-logistics players.

Pivo Africa Founders

“As Pivo launches additional products to graduate from a pure fintech lender to a full-fledged financial services platform, we are excited to see the company deliver a full suite of financial services specifically designed for the needs of the unattended supply-chain sector SMEs they serve,” Daniel Block continues.  

Amadi-Emina and Ijeoma Akwiwu have accomplished the feat of being the first all-female founded team Y Combinator has backed in Nigeria — and the second in Africa after the defunct Ghanaian startup Tress.

“It is a great thing that we were able to break that barrier as a female-led start-up. Getting into YC gave us validation as founders and cemented the fact that women can be at the helm of affairs in the tech space,” said Amadi-Emina in an interview with Techcrunch.

“Tech is a male-dominated space, and all these man-made barriers exist that serve to keep women out. Getting into YC, with the news amplified not just locally but internationally, means more people get to see strong female representation coming from Nigeria.”

“We’re glad that a female founder somewhere looks at us and gains an awareness that it is possible that if you keep putting in the hard work, applying yourself and have the numbers to back it all up, you can achieve what you set out to.”

Read also: Microtraction announces investment in fintech startup Pivo, its first deal for the year

More about Pivo

Founded by Nkiru Amadi-Emina and Ijeoma Akwiwu in 2021, Pivo has financed the growth of
SMEs through secured working capital loans, asset finance and trade finance solutions. Transactional banking in the form of Smart current accounts, payments and simple accounting tools is also offered to customers.

It is targeted at any business that deals with the import, export, manufacture, distribution and retail of FMCG, logistics and haulage, and clearing and forwarding.

The company has three main products. Pivo Capital, its flagship product, gives SMEs access to loans worth as much as US$50,000. Pivo Finance, meanwhile, offers customers access to a digital-only banking solution, while Pivo Plus, offers access to insurance, corporate compliance and tax regulation support.

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