Pivo raises $2 million seed round
Nigerian fintech startup Pivo has closed a $2 million seed round that included participation from Precursor Ventures, Vested World, Y Combinator, FoundersX and Mercy Corp Ventures. Pivo delivers financial services – credit, payments and expense management – to suppliers of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) within large production chains.
The startup was founded by Nkiru Amadi-Emina and Ijeoma Akwiwu in July 2021, and according to Amadi-Emina, Pivo has disbursed over $3 million through Pivo Capital and transacted more than $4 million through Pivo Business accounts. She also told TechCabal that Pivo currently has 300 active SMBs and 10 ecosystem partners. She explained that ecosystems are larger businesses that have SMEs within their value chains, so Pivo works with them to serve their SMEs.
When asked what criteria the startup considered before approaching investors, Amadi-Emina said: “We wanted to involve investors in our seed rounding off the back of the following criteria: domain expertise, ability to follow through on subsequent rounds, and ability to offer strategic access within our chosen sector is necessary to support us as we scale.”
Pivo’s strategy for income generation is based on interest on loans and fees on selected transactions. Pivo currently has two products: Pivo Capital, which offers credit to SMEs in the supply chain, and Pivo Business, which offers bank accounts and tools such as e-invoicing, bulk payments and bill payments.
Amadi-Emina told TechCabal that there are expansion plans for East Africa in the works for 2023. She also added that the startup will build and add new features to existing products, especially around payments, which is a major pain point for SMBs in the supply chain .
“There will also be new product development to improve transaction management and payment reconciliation. Cash flow management is one of the biggest challenges you’ll find in supply chains, and while we’re already tackling it with existing products, there’s a lot more we plan to do,” she said.
Speaking about the investment, Daniel Block, Chief Investment Officer of Mercy Corps Ventures, said, “When we first invested last year, we believed that the founders’ deep expertise in the logistics industry and commitment to small and medium-sized businesses in the unmonitored supply chain would enable Pivo to quickly create a deep moat in the competitive fintech lending space As Pivo launches more products to upgrade from a pure fintech lender to a full-fledged financial services platform, we are excited to see the company deliver a complete suite of financial services specifically designed for the needs to the unsupervised SME sectors in the supply chain sector they serve. .”