NowNow Digital Systems, a Nigerian Fintech company, has completed its seed funding round, where it raised $13 million from a number of investment companies.
The company, which was founded in 2016, said it would use the funds to further scale financial inclusion across Africa. It plans to empower its target audience by providing enhanced banking services, agency banking, merchant payment solutions, and create new products.
The seed funding round had participations from firms like NeoVision Ventures Ltd., DLF Family Office, and Shadi Abdulhadi, backing NowNow’s quest to extend its services to the unbanked and underbanked population of Africa.
NowNow was co-founded by Sahir Berry and Mahesh Nair to provide solutions to digital financial services – which is still in the growth phase. The company aims to push financial tools and products to create ease in the way transactions are done around Nigeria, and Africa.
The company started by leveraging its partnership with foreign companies to provide its services, but later decided to build its own products, which includes a mobile wallet, and other financial tech.
“Building our proprietary IP ourselves changed our business. So starting, we provided digital banking solutions to consumers and businesses. But today, we’re fast becoming an embedded finance platform,” Sahir Berry, who doubles as CEO, said.
According to the CEO, NowNow is currently testing a NFT-enabled products, where its users can use virtual or physical cards against an NFC-enabled phone or POS and tap from wallet to wallet using two phones.
“It’s an end-to-end integrated platform for SMEs, including logistics and we are the first company in Nigeria to provide such an end-to-end platform. […] We’ve built all this technology and own the IP for it, we’ve also become a BaaS company providing our product to multiple fintechs in Nigeria and Africa. We also have renowned financial institutions that use our products to offer a white-label solution to their customers. So that mitigates the risk in that we are playing in the consumer and the B2B space,” Berry said.
Speaking in the fundraise, co-founder, Sahir Berry said:
“Today we announce that we have moved to the next stage of our commitment to drive financial access and empowerment for Africans at the last mile. With the secured funding, we look to not only provide services that include everyone financially but also upscale our agile ecosystem which ensures that our multidimensional offering remains a market leader. The credit facility will also support our unique strategy to advance financial inclusion and independence through financial education. The interest and backing of our investors will enable us to grow our world-class team as we would be unveiling innovative products and services.”
Gary Peters, Managing Partner at Capital V Ltd, also commented thus:
“One of the key elements that propelled us to invest in NowNow through one of our funds is based on the founders’ tenacity to grow the company to a viable level, as well as overcoming many challenges and market cycles since its inception in 2018. Its core business and vision of digitizing the African region through facilitating daily payment services is also another important element. Whenever we meet a company founder like Sahir Berry, whose leadership’s vision aligns with Capital V’s fund of funds strategy to back disruptive and high-potential start-ups, especially in emerging markets like Africa, the decision process becomes easier.”
NowNow currently serves about 200,000 users, and plans to increase the number to a million by the end of the year.