ImaliPay, a fintech company that bills itself as a one-stop-shop for financial services, recently secured $3 million in a loan and equity round.
The Fintech received a $800,000 pre-seed investment in 2020. It was founded in late 2020 by Tatenda Furusa and Oluwasanmi Akinmusire after Furusa experienced the problems ride-hailing drivers faced in obtaining working capital and dealing with events such as running out of fuel in Nairobi.
Furusa’s experience inspired ImaliPay’s pilot: a buy now, pay later (BNPL) gas product for two-wheeler gig platforms, which the company provided to SafeBoda riders through a partnership with a few petrol stations in Ibadan, Nigeria.
The company then moved on to create a partner ecosystem, with some partners providing new consumer access while others maintaining the ecosystem and marketplace.
ImaliPay has expanded its offers to include spare parts, smartphones, power banks, savings and investments, and insurance bundled with those products, according to Furusa.
The company has knitted these products together, much like it has done with accident insurance and income protection loss insurance, so that gig workers can qualify for each based on their transactional activity.
The first is primarily due to the gig platforms’ faults. The 15 partners in this category include Bolt, Glovo, SWVL, Amitruck, Safeboda, Gokada, and Max.ng.
Vendors who deal with fuel, spare parts, cellphones, and other items required by gig workers make up the difference.
ImaliPay has partnered with platforms in Kenya and South Africa to provide additional financial services such as health and income protection insurance, savings, and collaboration with other gig platforms.
Among the 35 companies represented are Lami, Cowrywise, Ola Energy, Total Energies, HiFi Corporation, and Britam. Through an independent app, chatbot, or USSD, it connects its APIs to partner companies or directly provides these financial services to gig workers on this platform.
In just 15 months, ImaliPay’s customer base has grown by 60 times. According to the company, “tens of thousands” of gig workers use the startup’s services through 4,500 vendor points.
Over 200,000 transactions have been processed on ImaliPay’s platform. The pan-African integrated financing business makes money through transaction and referral fees.
COO Akinmusire and Furusa met while working at Cellulant before starting ImaliPay. Before finishing this seed round, which includes Leonnis Investments, they received funding from the Google Black Founders Fund in October of last year.
Follow-on investors included Ten 13, Uncovered Fund, MyAsia VC, Jedar Capital, Logos Ventures, Plug N Play Ventures, Untapped Global, Latam Ventures, Cliff Angels, Chandaria Capital, and Changecom. KSK Angels’ Keisuke Honda was present, as were other angel investors from Serbia, Kenya, and Norway.
According to the creators, the funds will be used to expand the company’s 50-person workforce, develop technology, and expand into other markets such as Ghana and Egypt.
The gig economy is rapidly expanding across Africa. Despite this growth, the status of workers who are classified as contractors rather than employees has not altered.
For many of them, being a contractor is unfavourable, particularly in the two-wheeler business, because they lack access to certain financial services.
Some gig platforms have tried to include financial services on their platforms, however their capabilities are limited.
Many fintech companies, on the other hand, are providing a broader range of financial services to these gig workers, who, according to the Mastercard Foundation, will number over 80 million by 2030. ImaliPay is an excellent example of this.
Gig platforms have the potential to provide a steady supply of employment in Africa, as well as a way to reduce informality and increase productivity by assuming control and aid over informal businesses.
Gig platforms provide the advantage of connecting employment with skills. This is a really handy feature for job seekers. By searching for opportunities on platforms, job seekers can understand which skills are relevant in today’s culture.
As more people desire financial independence, they will do everything possible to upskill and reskill so that they can satisfy the job’s requirements.
As a result, those who work on the gig platform need financial help. Gig economy employees, freelancers, and self-employed digital professionals in Africa can benefit from these platforms.
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