- Nigerian fintech startup, Anchor has come out of stealth with the announcement of its $1 million pre-seed funding.
- The startup, founded by Segun Adeyemi, Olamide Sobowale, and Gbekeloluwa Olufotebi, helps businesses provide services such as payments, savings, and card issuance, among others.
- Investors in the round include Y Combinator, Byld Ventures, Luno Expeditions, Niche Capital, Mountain Peak Capital, and Emmanuel Okeleji, Seamless HR CEO.
In February 2022, Nigerian fintech startup, Flutterwave unveiled its new logo and dashboard at the Flutterwave 3.0 event, but that was not all that the startup revealed. It disclosed that it was now set to enable startups to embed financial products into their core offerings. Consequently, businesses could issue cards and provide wallets without worrying about compliance issues.
However, the fintech unicorn is hardly the only business that sees a massive opportunity. Startups like Anchor also see the opportunity, and after a few months of testing their product with a limited number of users have announced their pre-seed round.
Co-Founder and CEO Adeyemi is no newcomer to the fintech space, having built and sold Amplify to Carbon before moving to JUMO as its Nigeria country manager. Although Anchor only conducted its private beta this year, it got into Y Combinator and reportedly got more than 30 startups, including Pivo and Pennee, to use it.
Additionally, the startup has reported a 200% month-on-month growth rate as it supposedly handles transactions worth millions of dollars. With intense competition in Nigeria’s fintech space, startups need to set themselves apart from the pack, and Adeyemi believes that the founding team's experience is a bonus.
Speaking to TechCrunch, he said, “There’s an understanding of the space as founders and the core team building this. We have seen first-hand the painful process of closing banking partnerships, negotiating third-party contracts, and obtaining regulatory approvals. And more generally, the extensive time and effort required to launch financial products.
“We optimise for speed of go to market while at the same time, we don’t compromise on security and scalability. So there are a lot of use cases we’ve built for, that if you start from scratch, it will take you some time to get started.”
While the experience of its founders could work in its favour, one must remember that Nigeria’s fintech space is still nascent. With frequent regulatory onslaughts and numerous players serving a few people, experience alone will not count.