OnePipe, a Nigerian Fintech company, has raised $3.5 million to expand its embedded financing product.
Fintech API infrastructure players came into the African technology scene last year, whereby they ushered in Plaid-like services to businesses and developers. The attention on these new companies, especially from venture capitalists moved into this year, each player raised large seed to Series A rounds.
OnePipe, a Fintech API company with a different agenda from the others joins the list today, they raised $3.5 million seed in order to double down on their embedded finance offering.
Co-lead investor in OnePipe’s $950,000 pre-seed round last year, African impact-focused VC Atlantica Ventures, also co-led this current seed round, along with Tribe Capital and V&R Associates.
New investors like Saison Capital, Norrsken (the fund of Klarna founder Niklas Adalberth), The Fund, and Two Culture Cap also participated. Already existing investors such as Chris Adelsbach, Techstars, Acquity, P1, Ingressive, DFS Lab, and Raba followed with new checks, as well as other angelic investors.
OnePipe’s fore plan was to create an API gateway that will connect banks and financial technologies under a uniform standard, an initiative that would allow the company to perform core open banking, but Ope Adeoye, Founder and CEO that describes himself as the company’s chief plumber, on a call with TechCrunch, said that upon continuous integration with financial institutions, it has become clear that the company needs to pivot, since it wasn’t generating a lot of demand cycles.
Having already struck partnerships with a few banks, OnePipe decided to take a step back before plunging into the world of embedded finance.
OnePipe is currently in partnership with six banks due to the fact that, unlike open banking and data aggregation plays, where a company needs to collaborate with almost all the banks in the country they operate, it is not necessarily the same with companies that offer embedded financing.
The CEO had said, “The caveat goes like this, the moment you make a positioning play for banking as a service, all you really need is one partner bank that lets you go deep because the embedded finance (offering) is about the depth and not breadth.”
“If you go for data aggregation or open banking in general, then you are going for breadth, not depth. So, on our side, we said we’d rather go with tier two and tier three bands, where once you describe the concept to them, they get it. It powers their growth and is more valuable to them, unlike other larger financial institutions”, Ope Adeoye said.
Running API infrastructure on behalf of these partner banks and assisting them in getting them monetized, OnePipe works with non-financial institutions to launch and double-sell a lot of financial services such as credit, accounts, and payments within their offerings.
As such, an FMCG startup, for example, can plug into a bank’s API being managed by OnePipe and begin to issue accounts to customers, this will allow them to make payments through those accounts and access credits when they need them.