Sudo Africa, a fintech startup in Nigeria that offers a card-issuing API to developers and businesses, has raised $3.7 million in pre-seed funding.
Global Founders Capital (GFC), based in San Francisco, led the round. Picus Capital, LoftyInc Capital, Rallycap Ventures, Kepple Africa, Berrywood Capital, ZedCrest, and Suya Ventures are among the investors.
Several African fintech founders, like Olugbenga ‘GB’ Agboola, Ham Serunjogi, and Odun Eweniyi, are also investors.
Card-issuing API (pioneered by the likes of Rapyd, Ayden, and even Stripe globally) is gradually attracting the attention of investors who believe it’s the next big thing in a sector that has drawn the most VC funds in Africa, similar to many other API-led fintechs.
Sudo Africa’s founders, Aminu Bakori and Kabir Shittu, explained that the chance to develop Sudo arose from a problem they encountered while trying to issue cards at their previous startup: a mobile wallet system allowed users to aggregate existing financial institutions into a single platform and conduct transactions.
Customers are told that whereas banks take weeks or months to issue cards, Sudo Africa does so in days.
The company’s infrastructure, which is built in partnership with licensed card issuers, allows it and any developer or merchant who joins its platform to issue virtual and physical cards to their customers.
Businesses can also customize and program cards to their liking, add functionality, and securely integrate with other services on the platform.
Sudo’s clients come from a variety of industries. Fintechs, microfinance banks, non-tech enterprises, government agencies, logistics companies, commercial banks, and e-commerce companies are among them.
When its issued cards are used to execute an online or POS transaction, the company collects interchange fees, and it takes authorization fees when spending and location-based controls are performed. Sudo charges less for card manufacture and customizing than competitors.
Sudo Africa is currently the only startup in this space that only provides virtual and physical cards to Nigerians.