Nigeria-Based Fintech Duplo Raises $1.3M Pre-seed Fund to Strengthen B2B Firms

Duplo, a Lagos-based fintech backed by Y Combinator, has raised $1.3 million pre-seed funding to improve the efficiency of moving goods from manufacturers or suppliers to retailers, often using an agent network to collect cash.

In September last year, Yele Oyekola and Tunde Akinnuwa founded the startup, which aims to curb fraud in manual reconciliation processes by digitizing payment flows for B2B companies.

The pre-seed round was led by Oui Capital, a pan-African venture capital firm, with participation from MyAsia Venture Capital, Y Combinator, Flutterwave CEO, Olugbenga “GB” Agboola, and Mono CEO, Abdul Hassan.

Duplo will likely spend the majority of the investment on improving its product, technology, and sales, as well as expanding into other sectors outside of FMCG retail such as travel, agriculture, B2B marketplaces, and alcohol.

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Duplo has been accepted into Y Combinator’s current winter batch.

Former economic policy officer for the UN in Africa, Yele Oyekola, the startup’s CEO, says the startup is looking to digitize payments in Africa.

“We are trying to make cash obsolete in Africa where lots of businesses in the distribution space heavily transact in cash for obvious reasons. We are focused on distributors, merchants and aggregators to stop the use of cash in this value chain because everyone knows how expensive cash is and how difficult it is to move with issues around theft and fraud.”

He added, “Our value proposition is we help businesses automate, embed and launch payment products. Basically, inflows or outflows, automatic reconciliations for businesses and embedding payments into marketplaces. And then we also have businesses that want to provide BNPL services to smaller businesses.”

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Peter Oriaifo, principal at Oui Capital said, “We’re excited to support Yele, Tunde, Emeka and the rest of the team at Duplo as they look to build a scalable B2B payments platform for the African market. We believe that with the proliferation of commerce in Africa, there’s an emerging need for solutions such as Duplo’s that help abstract away complexities around payments.”

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