Kudi raises $5m to expand bank agent network in Nigeria
Nigerian bank agent network Kudi aims to grow and offer more financial services to underserved Africans following a $5 million Series A investment round, reports Jane Connolly.
The Series A was led by Partech and joined by Michael Seibel, CEO YC. Existing investors Khosla Ventures and YC also participated. Tidjane Dème, general partner at Partech and Co-lead of the Partech Africa Fund, joins Kudi’s board.
In Nigeria, 80% of the population is paid cash in hand, so Kudi’s network of bank agents bridges the gap between the cash economy and digital solutions. Kudi provides access to basic financial services such as money transfers, bill payments and cash withdrawals.
The company has built a network of more than 4,500 merchants since its launch in January 2017 and processes over $30 million in payments each month.
“For an economy that largely depends on cash, the growth of digital payments in Nigeria will be accelerated by Kudi as they provide a gateway between cash and digital and we think that’s a huge opportunity,” says Michael Seibel.
With the investment – which takes Kudi’s total to $6.7 million to date – the company plans to expand its agent network and hire new team members. Kudi’s strategy is to partner with commercial banks and fintechs to launch new products such as savings, loans and insurance for both small businesses and individuals.