Latest Shopify investment is an African payments startup

 Latest Shopify investment is an African payments startup

Image courtesy: Nomba

Nomba, a leading payment services provider focused on African businesses, has successfully secured US$30 million in its pre-Series B funding round. Base10 Partners led the investment and Shopify, Helios Digital Ventures, Partech, and Khosla Ventures participated in it. Nomba has thus become the latest Shopify investment in the startup space globally. Nomba says that the funding underscores its commitment to revolutionizing payment solutions tailored specifically to the needs of African companies.

The startup aims to address the unique challenges faced by African businesses in the digital payment landscape. Despite the growth of digital transactions in Africa, most companies still rely on generic point-of-sale (PoS) machines. These PoS machines operate independently from their core operations and Nomba recognizes this limitation. Accordingly, it seeks to provide bespoke payment solutions that integrate seamlessly into businesses’ existing processes.

Previously known as Kudi, YC-backed Nomba underwent a rebranding in May 2022. The company was initially launched in 2016 as a chatbot integration for financial requests on social apps. Kudi struggled to achieve widespread adoption in an African market where cash-based transactions dominate. A Bloomberg article suggests that cash accounts for approximately 90% of transactions in Africa’s informal economy. Additionally, despite the proliferation of digital financial products, over 60 million of the 200 million Nigerian adults remain unbanked.

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With the recent funding, Nomba is positioned to revolutionize payment solutions for African businesses. The company plans to deliver customized payment solutions that cater to each business’s unique services, enhancing operational efficiency, reducing costs, and providing exceptional customer experiences.

Another Shopify investment in a startup across the globe

The recent funding round adds the company to the impressive investment portfolio of Shopify. Shopify, the Ottawa-based e-commerce giant, has become an active investor in global technology startups in recent years. It is one of Canada’s biggest tech success stories and was the most valuable Canadian public company between 2020-22.

Shopify has previously made strategic investments in disruptive startups like WATI, a Hong Kong-based company offering customer engagement software built on WhatsApp’s Business API. The tech giant has distributed its recent tech startup portfolio across the globe. Along with Nomba and WATI, it includes Triple Whale (Israel), Thirdweb (UK), Gorgias (US), Codat (UK), Klaviyo (US), among others.

Founded by Adeyinka Adewale and Pelumi Aboluwarin, Nomba also intends to expand its suite of business tools beyond payments. Starting from Nigeria and expanding continent-wide, Nomba will introduce invoicing and order management solutions, boosting efficiency and reducing operational costs for African businesses.

Prior to this funding round, the company had successfully raised US$5 million, which played a pivotal role in fuelling its expansion and enabling the efficient delivery of innovative solutions to a wide range of businesses across the country. Nomba belies that the alignment with Shopify further validates its mission and positions the company as a frontrunner in driving innovation within the payment industry.


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