Nigeria is known as Africa’s most populous and economic country account for top financial institutions, yet, it’s understood the issue of underserved still linger that cut across over 95% of small and medium enterprises, and to scale their operations will require a full financial service suite. However, it comes as Brass raised $1.7M backed by Hustle Fund – while the aforementioned startup is poised to offer banking services to small and medium businesses.
The subject startup has secured the latest fundraised to accelerate its offers for “local entrepreneurs, traders, and fast-growing businesses”. While tackling the challenges surrounding the financial operations of these business entities.
It should be known that the founders of Brass have had their footprints in notable companies before they founded the subject startup. However, Brass was founded in July 2020 by ‘Sola Akindolu’ and ‘Emmanuel Okeke’. Akindolu understood to be the company’s CEO was once the head of product at YC-backed Kudi, while CTO Okeke was an engineering manager at stripe subsidiary Paystack.
It’s also clear to know that the CEO of the subject startup Akindolu had figured out the problems faced by small and medium businesses. Hence, he made clear that he found out how hard it was for businesses to have seamless financial operations in addition to cash-flow support services integral to tracking vendor payments, money movement, and overall business health, TechCrunch has learned.
Ideally, one would’ve thought of different financial concepts other than SMEs that are already existing in the Nigerian market. For instance, consumer neobanks Kuda and Carbon are understood to be in varying stages of offering business features to SMEs, yet, a YC-backed company Prospa is known as one which offers software and banking services to microbusinesses and freelancers. Equally, Sparkle offers both personal and business banking services, but places more priority on business banking services is in this market.
Instead, the startup’s CEO puts it that, he believes why these products have their entry points into the SME market, yet, they couldn’t capture the entire banking needs of businesses like Brass. And to describe the Brass platform, Akindolu said:
“There are many ways money can get out of the business, be it payroll, vendor payment, invoicing. We want to support businesses’ cash flow; we want to support them in those areas to make sure that money keeps running and they can keep growing their business. So that’s, for the most part, what we’re doing with Brass today: financial operations and cash flow support”.
Brass raising $1.7M believes its best bet is on credit with Brass Capital, yet a space that’s already heated up with other platforms. However, Brass offers a suite of products that revolves around a business bank account, such as credit and payment services, payroll and expense management, cash-flow analytics, API support, team, and contact management, including other business services like POS, debit, and credit cards.
While scaling up its business with varying needs in a bid to optimize its platform, the also startup claimed that it has more than 5,000 customers which cut across schools and malls to restaurants, in addition to fintechs like Mono and Eden.
“What we’ve set out to do is to build stacks of financial operation services. We may be overkill for a micro business; they might not find us useful, so we’re more concerned about small and medium-size businesses”.
Investors in this round of funding include pan-African VC firm Ventures Platform, Flutterwave CEO Olugbenga “GB” Agboola, Paystack co-founder ‘Ezra Olubi’, Acuity Ventures, Hustle Fund, and Uncovered Fund. Although, previous backers include Leonard Stiegler and Fola Olatunji-David, and Olumide Soyombo of Voltron Capital.
Further on this, the general partner at Hustle Fund ‘Elizabeth Yin’ said “We are excited to back Sola and Brass team, who are providing critical financial technology to Africa’s businesses, starting with Nigeria’s approximately 41.5 million businesses”.
Based on this, the CEO of the subject startup Akindolu made clear the company will use part of the fundraised to expand its business to South Africa and Kenya by next year (having finalized incorporation with the latter).
- What’s your take!