Nigeria: Kippa fintech plans banking partnership to offer business accounts

By David Whitehouse
Posted on Tuesday, 11 January 2022 10:50

Kippa CEO Kennedy Ekezie-Joseph. Photo supplied.

Nigerian fintech start-up Kippa is planning a partnership with an unnamed bank to offer bank accounts to small businesses, CEO Kennedy Ekezie-Joseph tells The Africa Report.

Small businesses customers, most of whom are unbanked, will be able to sign up for an account via Kippa’s app in the first quarter, Ekezie-Joseph says in Lagos.

Kippa offers digital business and finance-management solutions for small businesses in Nigeria. The company’s mobile bookkeeping app lets customers record day-to-day sales, expenses and debts outstanding,  and includes analytics features.

About 95% of African small business transactions are cash-based, and 99% recorded on paper, the company says. About 40% of all transactions involve credit, making it hard for merchants to keep track and generating disputes. More than 280,000 merchants have signed up for the app, which allows them to send automatic debt reminders. Transactions recorded on Kippa amount to $1.2b.

The banking partnership will also allow Kippa to provide merchant and consumer payment services using the bank’s rails, Ekezie-Joseph says. Small businesses will also be able to pay utility bills through the app. The aim is to “build an eco-system around the merchant,” he says.

A longer-term plan is for Kippa to obtain its own banking license, Ekezie-Joseph says.

  • This would allow a broader offer of financial services for businesses including wealth management, insurance and digital savings.
  • One way to get a license would be to buy a microfinance bank, which might need fund raising, Ekezie-Joseph says.
  • He aims to have a banking license by the first quarter of 2023.

Foreign expansion

Kippa raised $3.2m in pre-seed funding in November, with investors including venture capital funds such as Target Global, Entrée Capital, Alter Global and Rally Cap Ventures. Ekezie-Joseph and co-founders Duke Ekezie and Jephthah Uche retain a majority stake in the company, founded in February 2021.

The company plans to expand outside Nigeria, and will make its app available in Ghana in the first quarter of this year.

  • Small businesses in Ghana will be able to download the app from their app stores.
  • The company won’t need a physical presence or regulatory approval in Ghana.
  • Further new countries are likely to follow. “Eastern and southern Africa are definitely on our roadmap,” Ekezie-Joseph says.

Bottom line

Kippa is confident its app can be used to onboard small businesses for a range of financial services.

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