ImaliPay, a fintech startup that portrays itself as a one-stop-shop for financial services, recently secured $3 million in a loan and equity round. The fintech secured a $800,000 pre-seed investment in 2020.
It was founded in late 2020 by Tatenda Furusa and Oluwasanmi Akinmusire after Furusa experienced the difficulties ride-hailing drivers faced in obtaining working capital and dealing with events such as running out of fuel in Nairobi.
Furusa’s experience inspired ImaliPay’s pilot: a buy now, pay later (BNPL) gas product for two-wheeler gig platforms, which the company provided to SafeBoda riders through a partnership with a few petrol stations in Ibadan, Nigeria.
The company then moved on to develop a partner ecosystem, with some partners providing new consumer access while others maintaining the ecosystem and marketplace.
Sycamore, launched in 2019 by Babatunde Akin-Moses, Onyinye Okonji, and Mayowa Adeosun, uses proprietary risk assessment tools to award business loans the same day through its website and recently launched mobile app.
ImaliPay has expanded its offers to include spare parts, smartphones, power banks, savings and investments, and insurance combined with those products, according to Furusa.
The business has woven these products together, much like it has done with accident insurance and income protection loss insurance, so that gig workers can qualify for each based on their transactional activity.
The first is primarily due to the gig platforms’ faults. The 15 partners in this category include Bolt, Glovo, SWVL, Amitruck, Safeboda, Gokada, and Max.ng.
ImaliPay has partnered with platforms in Kenya and South Africa to provide additional financial services such as health and income protection insurance, savings, and collaboration with other gig platforms.
Among the 35 companies represented are Lami, Cowrywise, Ola Energy, Total Energies, HiFi Corporation, and Britam. Through an independent app, chatbot, or USSD, it connects its APIs to partner companies or directly provides these financial services to gig workers on this platform.
In just 15 months, ImaliPay’s customer base has grown by 60 times. According to the company, “tens of thousands” of gig workers use the startup’s services through 4,500 vendor points.
On ImaliPay’s platform, over 200,000 transactions have been completed. Transaction and referral fees are how the pan-African integrated financing provider makes money.
Before founding ImaliPay, COO Akinmusire and Furusa met while working at Cellulant. They got money from the Google Black Founders Fund in October of last year before closing this seed round, which included Leonnis Investments.
Ten 13, Uncovered Fund, MyAsia VC, Jedar Capital, Logos Ventures, Plug N Play Ventures, Untapped Global, Latam Ventures, Cliff Angels, Chandaria Capital, and Changecom were among the follow-on investors in the round. Keisuke Honda of KSK Angels, as well as other angel investors from Serbia, Kenya, and Norway, took part.
According to the founders, the funds will be used to expand the company’s 50-person workforce, improve technology, and expand into other markets such as Ghana and Egypt.