Fintech company, Duplo, has completed its pre-seed funding round, raising $1.3 million from several investors.
The startup, which is based in Lagos, Nigeria, and backed by Y Combinator, noted that it would expend the funds on improving its products, and scaling its diversification into other sectors, aside FMCG (Fast-moving Consumer Goods).
The startup plans to diversify into travel, farming, B2B marketplaces, alcohol, and beverages.
Duplo’s fundraising round was led by early-stage pan-African VC firm Oui Capital. Other investors that participated in the fundraise include MyAsia VC, Y Combinator, Olugbenga “GB” Agboola, and Mono CEO – Abdul Hassan.
The startup is working on tackling the inefficiencies that cost consumers time, and resources. Duplo does this by digitizing payment flows for B2B companies, starting with those in the FMCG industry.
With Duplo, distributors can create unique virtual accounts for retailers and agents to make real-time payments or bank transfers, while the platform helps to reconcile their books automatically.
“We are trying to make cash obsolete in Africa where lots of businesses in the distribution space heavily transact in cash for obvious reasons. So, we’re focused on distributors, merchants and aggregators to stop the use of cash in this value chain because everyone knows how expensive cash is and how difficult it is to move with issues around theft and fraud,” CEO, Yele Oyekola told TechCrunch.
Speaking further, Oyekola said:
“The way we see our value prop is we help businesses automate, embed and launch payment products. So basically, inflows or outflows, automatic reconciliations for businesses and embedding payments into marketplaces. And then we also have businesses that want to provide BNPL services to smaller businesses.”
Speaking on the fundraise, Peter Oriaifo, principal at Oui Capital, said:
“We’re excited to support Yele, Tunde, Emeka and the rest of the team at Duplo as they look to build a scalable B2B payments platform for the African market. We believe that with the proliferation of commerce in Africa, there’s an emerging need for solutions such as Duplo’s that help abstract away complexities around payments.”