Managing the daily operations of small businesses and keeping track of their finances can be strenuous, erroneous, and time-consuming during its growth phase. This is because there is no platform unifying different business processes such as business banking, inventory management, customer management, expenses, vendors management, etc.
Before Prospa was launched, most business owners would need about five different tools or apps to manage their business. All banks do is provide financial and sometimes advisory services without providing the software necessary to navigate the operational complexities of small businesses. Companies providing business management applications build platforms without banking functionalities to support SMEs with their bank runnings; hence leaving a gap for fragmentation to exist. This problem led Prospa’s founders to build an infrastructure that unifies both business management software and the banking system in a single platform.
Prospa is a startup helping small businesses manage and organize their banking and business processes on a single platform.
Prospa was founded in October 2019 by Frederik Obasi, Chioma Ugo, and Rodney Jackson-Cole to help small and micro businesses centralize all parts of their business management and banking into one single application. This simply means that Prospa provides banking services as well as invoicing tools, inventory management, employee and vendor management, an e-commerce store, and payroll features all in one app.
In September 2021, the platform raised a $3.8 million pre-seed round months after graduating from Y Combinator, to increase its customer base, and hire more product and engineering talents. This is one of the largest pre-seed rounds recorded in Nigeria and Sub-saharan Africa with participation from Global Founders Capital and Silicon Valley-based Liquid 2 Ventures. Global founders like Immad Akhund of Mercury, Karim Atiyeh of Ramp, and executives from Teachable, Square, Facebook, and Nubank also participated in the round.
On Prospa, businesses that have registered with the corporate affairs commission get instant access to opening and managing a business account and other business management features like a digital storefront, inventory management, and more. Unregistered businesses will have to submit the details they need to get registered with the Cooperate Affairs Commission, all on Prospa’s platform. The startup registers these businesses through key partnerships due to the bureaucratic red tapes associated with Nigerian registration Processes. Customers can use the platform for business registration and then decide to make use of its business management tools, or the other way round.
From the amount of investment the startup closed, it’s an easy guess that Prospa has seen tremendous growth, and that guess is true. Now, It has tens of thousands of businesses using its platform. It manages over 150,000 product catalogues and over 360,000 invoices have been dispatched by small businesses from the platform. The company is also said to be growing at a 35% month-on-month rate. The company’s subscription rate depends on customers’ turnover. For example, a business with a turnover of ₦100,000 ($200) or below won’t be charged a subscription fee. But it charges between ₦3,000 ($6) and ₦5,000 ($10) monthly on businesses with turnovers exceeding ₦100,000. Currently, there’s an outburst in the number of startups building solutions for the 41 million SMEs market in Nigeria and helping them move and manage their business online. Although this sector of the tech industry is still developing, more competition is coming up.
For now, Prospa is not considering expansion into new markets; it only wants to concentrate on the huge opportunities that abound in the Nigerian market of about a 41million SMEs. This is a wise choice because as part of the pioneers in this sector, they should garner a solid share of the market before considering expansion. When you look closely at the market, all the players in the sector are barely making an impact.
This means that doing business with tens of thousands in a pool of 41 million entities shows that there are massive opportunities for other startups to make an impact because others in the sector are not doing enough. Prospa’s banking and business registration services are product offerings that set Prospa apart from its competitors. Prospa is expected to stay in the limelight as many small businesses still don’t know how to navigate the business registration process in Nigeria. Prospa is available for download on Google Play Store, iOS app store, and Prospa’s website.
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