Y Combinator-Backed Nigerian Fintech Startup Secures $5M Series A

Written by Peter Pedroncelli

Y Combinator-backed Nigerian fintech startup Kudi has raised a series-A round led by French venture capital fund Partech Partners with participation from the Silicon Valley investor YC and Khosla Ventures.

Kudi processes more than $30 million in payments a month. The company’s latest $5 million funding round brings Kudi’s total investment since its 2016 launch to $6.7 million, according to Ventureburn.

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The fintech firm’s artificial intelligence-enabled mobile app allows users to send money to any Nigerian bank, buy mobile airtime or pay bills.

An AI chatbot communicates with the user on the app to understand what they need and assist with a selection of financial services.

The $5 million investment will be used to recruit around 15 more employees, expand the company’s network of bank agents and launch new insurance, loans and savings products, according to a press release.

Kudi has an agent network of more than 4,500 merchants and processes $30-million-plus in payments a month, according to Techmoran.

Kudi was one of 12 tech startups selected by Google to participate in its first- ever Launchpad Accelerator Africa class in 2017, according to Techpoint.

Nigerian fintech startup
Kudi cofounders Yinka Adewale and Pelumi Aboluwarin. Photo – Kudi

Tidjane Dème, general partner at Partech, will join Kudi’s Board.

In addition to Paris, Partech has offices in San Francisco, Berlin and Dakar in Senegal.

The VC firm previously invested $3 million in Nigerian startup TradeDepot, and it led a $16 million Series-B funding round in South African fintech startup Yoco in 2018, according to BusinessInsider.

U.S. tech incubator Y Combinator, perhaps the world’s most powerful startup accelerator program, has backed many African tech companies.

The Silicon Valley-based incubator has invested in Ghanaian media startup OMG Digital, Nigerian fintech startup Flutterwave, and Senegalese solar startup Oolu, among others, according to the YC.