Nigerian Fintech startup Kippa, has raised $3.2 million in pre-seed funding, in its attempt to improve the life cycle of small businesses having issues with bookkeeping and storing important information, with its finance management app.
The startup’s new financing round was led by Berlin-based VC Target Global.
Babs Ogundeyi, Kuda CEO; Sriram Krishnan, an investor in Khatabook; Raffael Johnen, Auxmoney CEO; Chris Bouwer; Kyane Kassiri; Edward Suh of Goodwater Capital; and Sajid Rahman — invested in the startup.
How Kippa Works
Kippa works as a simple app where small business owners can keep track of their daily income and expense transactions, create invoices and receipts, manage inventory and generally monitor their business flow over time.
According to the company, one of the app’s most important features is that it helps merchants keep track of debtors and send automated reminders to them, and in this way merchants who use Kippa the way it is designed “recover debts 3x faster.”
The majority of these features are aimed at bringing a diverse range of Nigerian businesses onto the platform; however, the plan is to provide them with credit and other financial services.
The co-founder and CEO Kennedy Ekezie says, small firms do the majority of their transactions in cash, and more than 30% of their purchases are made on credit. So, at its core, the largest issue that firms confront is a lack of operating capital or credit, not a lack of bookkeeping or tools.
The CEO added, “And we do have a unique opportunity to help them accept online digital payments, to provide them with working capital, digital savings and plug them into the financial ecosystem.”
Many startups have started with bold claims this year, tackling various demands of small businesses — all with different approaches: some want to manage bookkeeping, some seek to connect small businesses with suppliers, while others provide banking and software services. But, in truth, they all lead to the same place, which is extending credit.
While this is true, Kippa is “choosing to be digitally native, rather than pursuing the digitization of analogue processes as prior players have done, and this distinguishes the company” according to CEO Ekezie.
As Kippa remains free for businesses to use at the moment, the introduction of credit and other financial services will see the company make revenue by taking commission fees or interests off lending or working capital.
Since its inception in June, the bookkeeping and finance software claims to have expanded at a monthly rate of 126 percent on average.
Kippa claims to have logged more than $300 million in sales in the last five months, with over 130,000 active companies ranging from small kiosks and street corner shops to local food vendors and high-end retailers utilizing the app.
These numbers show a substantial need for the product in the Nigerian market, according to the main investor Target Global, which is why it invested.
How It Got Here
Ekezie and his co-founders started Kippa in February 2021. Before Kippa, the trio had tried founding a software talent matching platform which they called Africave. According to Ekezie, they moved on from Africave after recognizing imminent supply constraints that would put a cap on the company’s growth.
According to the CEO, the founders wanted to tackle a problem that was a good fit for their skills. Kippa was born after embarking on a founder-market-fit trip across Nigeria and visiting various small business owners to identify their pain points.
“What we noticed was a lot of them functioning extremely manually with ledgers, spending an hour or more at the end of the day balancing their accounts, making mistakes, canceling out, and complaining about their records being incomplete,” Ekezie explained.
“And we recognized a broader problem — the lack of access to finance or capital to run a business correctly — which is the largest problem small businesses confront.” As a result, we believed it would be a fun problem to solve.”
Plans for The Pre-seed Funding
Kippa’s pre-seed funding, which is one of the largest in Nigeria and Sub-Saharan Africa, will be used to expand the company’s merchant network, improve its product, scale the team, and enter the financial services market.