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  Pivo, a female-led Nigerian FinTech startup has closed a $2 million seed round that included participation from Precursor Ventures, Vested World, Y Combinator, Foundrs, and Mercy Corp Ventures. The FinTech startup is a financial service provider that offers a variety of services such as credit, payments, and expense management to small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) vendors within large manufacturing supply chains.
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Founded by Nkiru Amadi-Emina and Ijeoma Akwiwu in July 2021, Pivo has disbursed over $3 million through Pivo Capital and transacted more than $4 million through Pivo Business accounts. According to Amadi-Emina in the information that was seen by Connect Nigeria, Pivo presently has 300 active SMEs and 10, ecosystem partners. She noted that ecosystems are large corporations that have SMEs within their value chains, hence Pivo works with them to serve their SMEs. Before reaching out to investors, the startup CEO, Amadi-Emina, disclosed that she considered various criteria.
“We were looking to involve investors in our seed round off the back of the following criteria: domain expertise, ability to follow on in subsequent rounds, and ability to provide strategic access within our chosen sector needed to support us as we scale,”
she said.
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Pivo’s monetisation program is anchored on interest on loans and fees on selected transactions. Furthermore, Pivo presently has two products: Pivo Capital, which offers credit to supply chain SMEs, and Pivo Business, which offers bank accounts and tools like e-invoicing, bulk payments, and bill payments. Amadi-Emina further revealed that Pivo has the plan to expand its operations to  East Africa in 2023. She also pointed out that the startup will be building and adding new features to existing products, especially around payments, which is a major pain point for supply chain SMEs. According to her:
“There will be new product development as well to improve transaction management and payment reconciliation. Cash flow management is one of the biggest challenges you find in supply chains, and while we’re already tackling it with existing products, there’s a lot more we plan to do…”

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On the other hand, the investment principal at Mercy Corps Ventures, Daniel Block, spoke on the investment thus:
“When we initially invested last year, we believed that the founders’ deep logistics industry expertise and commitment to unattended supply chain SMEs would enable Pivo to rapidly carve out a deep moat in the competitive fintech lending space. As Pivo 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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This article was first published on 29th November 2022

nnaemeka-emmanuel

Nnaemeka is an academic scholar with a degree in History and International Studies from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He is also a creative writer, content creator, storyteller, and social analyst.


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