Thepeer raises $2.1m Seed to deepen product innovation and expand customer base

Thepeer, an API-based tech infrastructure company raises $2.1 million Seed round led by the Raba Partnership.

Thepeer raises $2.1m Seed to deepen product innovation and expand customer base
Thepeer's co-founders and other team members. Source: Thepeer

Thepeer, an API-based tech infrastructure company has secured a $2.1 million seed fund in a round led by the Raba Partnership. Other investors joining the round include Rallycap, BYLD Ventures, Timon Capital, Musha Ventures, Sunu, and Uncovered Fund, as well as leading African fintechs Chipper Cash and Stitch.

This round of funding comes less than a year after the company’s pre-seed round, which included angel investors Ezra Olubi (co-Founder & CTO at Paystack, acquired by Stripe for $200 million) and Prosper Otemuyiwa (co-Founder & CTO at Edenlife).

Currently, there are over 570 fintechs in Africa [pdf], providing services ranging from savings, lending, and investing to food ordering and ride-hailing. Many of them provide digital wallets to their customers, but there is currently no direct way to use that store of value across apps and merchants.

Thepeer is an API infrastructure company focused on solving this problem and building an alternative network of money movement between fintechs, consumers, and businesses.

Since its launch in August 2021 through the first quarter of 2022, Thepeer has achieved an average MoM transaction growth of 161%, according to a statement sent to Benjamindada.com. It added that with the recent launch of its product, Send—focused on sending money between businesses—monthly transaction volume has grown over 65X to double-digit million dollars.

What started out as a challenge for Thepeer’s founders moving value around their various apps has become an infrastructure with multiple businesses integrated applying the solutions and providing more value for their users.

"The opportunity that Thepeer is addressing reminded us of the fragmented card and mobile money payments landscape Flutterwave identified six years ago," said George Rzepecki, Founder of Raba Partnership.

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Raba Partnership has been an early investor in several foundational infrastructure payments API companies, including Flutterwave (card payments), Stitch (account-to-account payments), and BVNK (crypto payments).

"Today, with the proliferation of consumer and B2B fintechs across Africa, Thepeer is building a foundational API-based payments layer where fintechs can enable money movement natively from within their respective wallets and apps.  We are incredibly excited to support this ambitious team building a next-generation network." Rzepecki added.

How does Thepeer work?

Thepeer was founded by Kosisochukwu Chike Ononye (CEO) and Michael ‘Trojan’ Okoh (CTO) who identified the costly and cumbersome movement of money between mobile wallets as a ripe opportunity for innovation.

Thepeer is offering three products that fintechs and businesses can embed into their application/websites — Direct Charge allows customers of different businesses to fund their wallets from other businesses; Send allows customers of businesses to send money to each other instantly, and Checkout allows customers to pay for items online from any store that accepts payment via Thepeer.

Related article: API fintech companies are powering Africa's consumer ecosystem

"We see our product as a platform powered by APIs that helps connect fintechs, consumers, and businesses by offering seamless money movement," said Thepeer’s CEO, Chike Ononye. "Today, there are nearly 600 fintechs across the continent, most of which operate siloed wallets. Our goal is to make it possible to connect and make payments from any wallet. We are building an operating system so that businesses can offer more services to their customers."

Currently, Thepeer is powering the infrastructure of key businesses including Eversend and Nguvu Health. "At Eversend, our belief is that wallets are the future of payments. Every product we build is centered around our multi-currency wallets. The team at Thepeer extends the power and use-cases of our user's wallets. We've seen our users pay for food, health care, and investments using their Eversend balances through Thepeer. This is exactly the kind of value-chain we envisioned from our wallets system." said Ronald Kasendwa, co-founder and CTO at Eversend.

According to Joshua Koya, co-Founder & CEO at Nguvuhealth, "one amazing thing about Thepeer is that it has made it easier for people to pay for therapy on Nguvu Health app, which makes it easy and affordable for Africans to access therapy from their smartphones. Our users now have options with Thepeer’s integration with other fintech wallets where they can pay from for therapy."

In January, we listed Thepeer as one of the 12 African early-stage startups to watch out for in 2022. The company was also named the Newbie of the Year 2021 at the Techpoint Awards. Speaking on what next, Ononye said "Our focus remains on product innovation and serving our customers who operate across different geographies".