Nigerian digital bank, Yep! has raised $1.5 million in a pre-seed round led by pan-African VC Greenhouse Capital.
With this investment, Yep! will double its agent network to over 200,000 by the end of 2022 as part of its goal to boost financial inclusion. The funding will also enable the startup to expand its digital banking services in Nigeria, Niger, Togo, Ivory Coast, and Burkina Faso.
Aside from the aforementioned, Yep! has plans to increase its debt facility to $10 million by the end of this year as the company scales its lending operations to achieve a growth plan of doubling an existing network of about 100,000 merchants to over 200,000 by the end of 2022.
Founded by Olaoluwa Awojoodu, Garry Ottosen and Airende Ojeomogha, Yep! is also on the mission to enhance financial inclusion by leveraging PayCentre Africa — the startup’s agent banking platform, to ease entry into the formal economy for rural communities, who would otherwise be financially excluded.
The company’s services enable entrepreneurs, small business owners, students, MSMEs, and merchants to gain safe and easy access to financial solutions digitally.
In 2021, Yep! processed transactions initiated by 5 million customers, transactions worth above $2 billion through the company’s growing network of merchants. In an attempt to close the loop, bank these customers; Yep! secured a microfinance bank (MFB) license in Nigeria, enabling the company to set up accounts for customers, businesses, and merchants, in a matter of seconds.
“As we strive to deliver on our promise of bringing financial access to all Africans and Connecting Africans to the world, increasing Yep!’s lending capacity will be a key catalyst in pulling more customers and merchants into its ecosystem. Access to finance can be transformative – it unlocks opportunities among those that need it the most and has a huge impact on the wider economy,” Olaoluwa Awojoodu, Yep!'s co-founder stated.
Providing account opening, debit card issuance, bill payments and credit financing services to online consumers, and financial management services to both consumers and businesses, Yep! is playing in the same spot as Kuda, Carbon and FairMoney.
According to Airende Ojeomogha, Co-founder, Yep!, “the informal sector is the backbone of economic activity in Africa and accounts for over 80% of jobs in cities across the continent. However, populations and businesses in this segment often do not have the necessary tools to grow and scale – due to restricted access to financial services that enhance growth, such as savings and credit facilities.”
Adding that, “with our network of around 100,000 merchants spread across West Africa, we get to hear from millions of customers and businesses, so we know our customers’ challenges. This strengthens our ability to build and provide the right products that eradicate their pain points and respond to evolving needs.”