Pivo, a Nigerian female-led fintech startup, has raised $2 million in funding to upgrade existing products, build new ones, hire talent and expand outside of Lagos, its first market and other African countries, particularly in East Africa.

The latest investment came from Precursor Ventures, Vested World, Y Combinator, FoundersX and Mercy Corp Ventures.

Founded by Nkiru Amadi-Emina and Ijeoma Akwiwu in July 2021, Pivo provides financial services — credit, payments and expense management — to SME vendors within large manufacturing supply chains, an industry.

The startup currently serves about 500 SMEs as direct customers and makes revenue by charging interest on capital and fees on payments processed. Pivo Capital which is one of its products has disbursed over $3 million to SMEs and currently records a 98% repayment rate while transaction volume on Pivo Business grew over 400% between April and September this year. The startup has registered a total volume of $4.7 million from July to date.

On the next steps, the company says it is working on Pivo+, a package of value-added services that will turn Pivo into a full-fledged financial services platform.

“After our pre-seed raise of US$550,000 early in Q1 of this year, we launched a new product, Pivo Business, with features that supply chain SMEs can use to achieve better cash flow,” Amadi-Emina said. #“The transaction volume of Pivo Business accounts grew by over 400 per cent between April and September. With this funding, we intend to build on existing products and develop solutions for supply chain anchors.” 

Daniel Block, investment principal at Mercy Corps Ventures, said his company believed the Pivo founders’ deep logistics industry expertise and commitment to unattended supply chain SMEs would enable the startup to rapidly carve out a deep moat in the competitive fintech lending space. 

“As the startup launches additional products to graduate from a pure fintech lender to a full-fledged financial services platform, we are excited to see the company deliver a full suite of financial services specifically designed for the needs of the unattended supply-chain sector SMEs they serve.”

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