Carbon acquires Nigerian fintech startup Vella Finance to become Carbon Business

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February 14, 2024
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2 min read
An image that depicts carbon's acquisition of vella finance

The news

  • Nigerian digital bank, Carbon has acquired a fintech startup for SMEs, Vella Finance.
  • The undisclosed acquisition will see Vella Finance become Carbon's business banking product, Carbon Business.
  • Carbon is also looking to leverage Vella Finance's AI-powered SME banking feature that helps users get actionable insights from financial transactions.

According to a statement sent to Techpoint Africa, Carbon acquired two-year-old Vella Finance through its parent company One Credit Limited, to launch to create a groundbreaking AI-powered business banking platform.

Co-founder and COO of Vella Finance, Tolu Adedayo said some of the founders and team at the startup have already been absorbed into Carbon.

The same will also happen to Vella Finance's 8,000 SME customers. In the coming days, the company will transition them to Carbon Business while individual customers will get the option to upgrade to business accounts.

For Vella Finance, the ownership change will not change its commitment to customers. The startup said the acquisition will allow it to reach more customers, develop cutting-edge financial products and provide a more secure banking experience.

Carbon, on the other hand, is looking to leverage Vella Finance's AI-powered transaction analysis that helps business customers gain actionable insights based on their transactions.

How the acquisition happened

Speaking about the acquisition, Tolu Adedayo, Vella Finance COO, said the company has had a good relationship with the founders of Carbon. He revealed that Carbon had an investment company that was a part of Vella Finance's pre-seed raise.

Carbon Co-founder, Chijioke Dozie, corroborated this by saying "We have known the Vella Finance team for some time and admired their innovation and understanding of the market needs."

He said the company, which possesses the same pioneering and innovative spirit as Carbon, had built an SME platform that was unrivalled in the market making the acquisition deal a no-brainer.

While the company's SME platform might be unrivalled, it has been through a series of interesting evolutions since it was founded in December 2021 by Adedayo and his Co-founders, Mark Afolabi (CEO), Gabriel Ajenifuja (CTO), and Segun Fagbami (CPO).

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According to Adedayo, Vella Finance started as a cross-border payment platform for businesses. However, it has pivoted into crypto transactions, and SME banking.

Now the company is delving into AI for business banking which Carbon plans to leverage as it launched Carbon Business.

While 2023 had several Nigerian tech startup acquisitions — from Bitmama's acquisition of  Payday to Chaka's by Rise — the ecosystem could see even more this year.


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He's a geek, a sucker for Blockchain and an all-round tech lover. Find me on Twitter @BoluAbiodun1.
He's a geek, a sucker for Blockchain and an all-round tech lover. Find me on Twitter @BoluAbiodun1.
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He's a geek, a sucker for Blockchain and an all-round tech lover. Find me on Twitter @BoluAbiodun1.

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