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Nigerian-based ZirooPay raises $11.4m to upscale its offline-first POS infrastructure

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ZirooPay, a Fintech startup which operates from Nigeria and Finland, has raised a total of $11.4 million in its Series A funding round.

The startup runs a mobile platform for small businesses to accept card payment via its mobile app. ZirooPay also has an EMV-certified card reader that is operable in areas where there is no data coverage.

Following the success of its series A funding round, ZirooPay noted that the funds would be used to expand its payment infrastructure, scale its team, and facilitate growth.

The funding round was led by Zrosk Investment Management – an investment firm based in Lagos. The round also had participations from returning investors like Nordic Venture Fund, as well as other private and institutional funds like Fedha Capital, and Exotix Advisory.

Angel investors, the likes of Petri Kivinen (Morgan Stanley, Renaissance Capital, and Deutsche Bank former managing director); Abiodun Ajai (Director, Sub-Saharan Africa of Bank of America); Kurt Bjorklund (Managing partner at Permira); Stephane Kurgan (Venture partner at Index Ventures); and Jonas Dromberg (Former Bureau chief at Bloomberg), also participated in the fundraise.

POS operators have significantly increased over the years. As much as it limits the trouble people go through to make financial transactions, it also has its downsides, one of which includes transaction errors due to network connections issues.

ZirooPay, with its patented technology, allow users to makes financial transactions in real-time, without the need for internet connection. This cuts down on the errors that effects transactions during network downtimes.

Our proprietary technology transmits secure card transaction data via basic GSM channels — USSD/SMS — thereby making it possible to process card payments in real-time even without an Internet connection. You can accept card payments anywhere you have the basic signal strength to make/receive calls or SMS. Since the coverage area of basic cellular service is much larger than areas with Internet connectivity, it allows us to dramatically expand operational coverage area for our system,” CEO, Omoniyi Olawale, said during ZirooPay parent company, IroFit’s seed funding round in 2014.

Read also: Social commerce startup – Tushop – eyes Kenyan expansion; raises $3m pre-seed funding

IroFit, which at that time was based solely in Helsinki, had planned to used the $600k raised in its seed funding round to scale its expansion into Nigeria. However, the expansion took five years to materialize.

Three years after the launch of ZirooPay in Nigeria, the startup claims that it has garnered 15,000 merchants that operate its POS terminals and mobile application.

ZirooPay also added that these merchants have processed 500 million dollars in about 10 million transactions, which translates to a 5,000% increase within its years of operation in Nigeria.

ZirooPay claims it helps small business across different sectors to track sales, manage business operations, and perform functions of large scale cash registers, through the use of an Android app and a POS card reader.

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