Nigeria’s Fintech startup IroFit was recently announced as one of the three winners of the Innotribe Startup Challenge held in Abidjan, Ivory Coast in partnership with SWIFT’s African Regional Conference (ARC).
IroFit, alongside Kenya’s Sokowatch and Rwanda’s Vugapay, took home 10,000 EUR cash prize and will attend Sibos SWIFT global Fintech conference in Toronto from 16-19 October in Toronto this year.
Interestingly, IroFit has also been selected as one of the 20 finalists of the Ecobank Fintech Fellowship programme.
TechMoran had an exclusive interview with Omoniyi Olawale, the Founder/CEO at IroFit. Olawale shares his experience at the Innotribe Startup Challenge and much more. Excerpts.
Can you tell us about IroFit?
IroFit provides a mobile Point of Sale (mPOS) that helps small retailers process in-store card payments in REAL-TIME and track their sales, even when there is no Internet connection. We help them increase their sales, save time, and improve efficiency by offering more reliable payments, sales analytics and automated bookkeeping, among other things. We are live in Nigeria and growing our user base 100% MoM, and total transaction value 35% MoM.
There were thousands of entries from across Africa. Did you ever believe your startup will be selected as one of the winners of the Innotribe Startup Challenge?
I guess every applicant to a challenge expects/ hopes to be selected, and we were honoured to have been selected from such a large number of highly qualified applications.
Can you share your experience at the Innotribe Startup Challenge?
The coaches we worked with were awesome. They took our decent pitch and made it great within 48 hours. They also gave us much-needed insight into specific things banks were looking for in a Fintech partner and how to highlight them to that specific audience. Now, that was golden.
We also met other entrepreneurs from around Africa and swapped battle stories and experiences. There are great solutions being built across the continent by really smart and driven people, it humbles you, and gives you perspective. We are already negotiating strategic alliances with some of the ISC finalists.
The conference brought together bankers and regulators from around Africa. It was a Fintech startup’s networking dream come true. Winning the challenge also gave us the extra visibility needed to attract the right delegates. We went away with strong contacts and ongoing discussions with excellent partners in 3 African countries. We also engaged some very valuable investors during the conference.
What are you looking forward to as you head to Canada for Sibos, SWIFT’s annual global financial services conference?
I hope to get the same things as in ARC 2017, but on a global scale- networking with the right partners, meeting other Fintechs and exploring alliances/ partnerships, getting a sense of the direction of the industry and how to stay ahead. I might even get the chance to visit Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada- that will be cool!
Of course, we also have the privilege to sit on a panel and share the awesome things African Fintech entrepreneurs are doing to build financial solutions that serve the people’s needs, both personal and business.
Tell us about yourself?
My name is Omoniyi Olawale, Founder/CEO of IroFit. I am an Ibadan- trained medical doctor and clinical epidemiologist. I started my first business in 200 level just as a way to extend my allowance and generate more money to spend. But I have come to recognise over the years (building a couple more thriving businesses) that business can be a force for doing a lot of tangible good in the society. That renewed sense of mission now drives my entrepreneurial pursuits.