Duplo, a B2B payment startup based in Nigeria, has completed its seed funding round, raising $4.3 million.
The seed funding round, according to the company, had participations from investment firms like Liquid2 Ventures, Soma Capital, Tribe Capital, Commerce Ventures, Basecamp Fund, and Y Combinator, as well as Oui Capital, which was a returning investor.
The Lagos-based fintech company was founded last year by the duo of Yele Oyekola, and Tunde Akinnuwa. Both also double as CEO and CPO, respectively.
Duplo 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. Through Duplo’s services, retailers can also track and reconcile payments, and automate payments to vendors, manufacturers and suppliers, with instant payments enabling them to transact in larger quantities.
“One distributor can cater to over 1,000 retailers and onboard them on Duplo. Those retailers can become Duplo customers as well. And then it becomes easier for us to digitize how payment moves between retailers and distributors,” Oyekola said.
Duplo also has its services integrated with accounting platforms like SAP, Microsoft Dynamics, QuickBooks and Sage. This integration makes payment done through Duplo automatically syncs with the accounting platforms in real time, saving time and cost, and also reducing errors and graph.
“When we think of payments in the continent or even Nigeria, for example, there’s a lot of focus on merchants collecting payments from the customers. And from the B2B angle, what startups help them with, is just collection and payout. Still, there’s a massive value in assisting them in tracking and reconciling payments in real-time, which is where we play a significant role.”
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The startup currently process payments from merchants in Nigeria, the US, UK, and some European countries, but it is working on expanding its covers to other countries. With the funds raised, Duplo plans to launch more products, and expand into new verticals.
“We’re also trying to expand into new verticals. Initially, we started with the FMCG industry; now we’ve seen interest in the construction industry, telecoms, and these major mid-sized enterprise businesses, and set up the foundation to scale across the continent hopefully in the next nine to 12 months,” Oyekola said.
Duplo raised $1.3 million in its pre-seed funding round, earlier this year. It has now raised a total of $5.6 million since it was founded last September.