Nigerian digital bank, Brass raises over $1.7 million to fuel its growth in SME Banking in Africa

Nigerian digital bank, Brass raises over $1.7 million to fuel its growth in banking solutions for SMEs in Africa - Startup Lagos

Fintech in Nigeria has recorded significant wins this year, with a good deal of funding attracted, especially in areas of payments infrastructure and mobile money.

Brass, a Nigerian digital bank that facilitates access to affordable banking services for small and medium-sized enterprises has raised over $1.7 million in funding. In a funding round led by Ventures Platform, and participation from Hustle Fund, Acuity Ventures, Uncovered Fund, and Olugbenga Agboola and Ezra Olubi, both co-founders at Flutterwave and Paystack respectively, Brass has received the backing of funds to undertake its expansion across its business sectors, as well as to other African countries.

According to Crunchbase, around May 2020, the dynamic fintech had raised an undisclosed amount in funding from Ventures Platform, with other investors like Olumide Soyombo of Voltron Capital, Leonard Stiegler, Fola Olatunji-David, Yemi Lawani, and two senior executives from top Nigerian banks, also investing in the startup.

Brass provides banking solutions to SMEs across Africa

Without a doubt, African fintech seems poised to rule the world, if interests align, and the developmental model of technology-driven innovation modifies to a disruptive model for Africa. In this way, through policy support, fintech would be able to make the needed disruptions to the market to trigger the sustainable growth of technology.

Brass: Providing banking solutions to SMEs

Brass is a digital bank that delivers premium services in banking for the specially targeted small and medium-sized business niche. The goal of the company is to serve the underserved in this market, especially local entrepreneurs and business persons, traders, and businesses looking to scale. Founded in July 2020, by Sola Akindolu and Emmanuel Okeke, Brass is intent on helping small scale and medium-sized businesses to overcome the hassles and challenges that they face in managing their businesses while attending to their banking needs. The platform helps users to gain access to a wide range of services from credit and payment services, to API support, payroll and expense management, and other banking support services.

Emmanuel Okeke and Sola Akindolu

The startup claims to have over 5,000 customers with a net disbursement of over $2 million in credit to thousands of businesses across Nigeria and the continent. Its wide array of customers range from individual businesses to fintechs like, Eden, and Mono, that make use of their services in facilitating ease of transactions with their respective customers.

Plans towards expansion

Brass intends to utilize these funds acquired to expand into South Africa and Kenya, as well as introduce new product categories into the market. The overarching goal of attracting more customers is likewise what the startup hopes to achieve as it increasingly spreads its market presence vertically and horizontally across Africa’s diverse sectors.

Sola Akindolu, Co-Founder and CEO of Brass, commenting on the news, states that,

The basic needs of Africa’s SMEs are just as significant and unique as those of the customers they serve each day. And now more than ever, we need innovative and world-class financial services solutions that meet their expectations. These local businesses have supported our economies for decades, forming the backbone of Africa’s success to-date and now is the time to bet on them.

Through its significant value proposition, Brass has helped in solving Africa’s financial inclusion challenges, especially in the SME sector, with an estimated $5.1 trillion credit gap globally. Commenting further on this goal of Brass, Kola Aina, Founder and General Partner at Ventures Platform is quoted as saying,

We were immediately sold on Brass’ mission to make banking work for small businesses. For far too long banks have not worked for their customers. This challenge is even more chronic for small businesses; hence we are excited to be a Brass partner as they advance the mission to make banking work for African businesses — via their suite of products designed to help businesses succeed.

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