In order to promote the provision of customized payment solutions for African businesses, Nomba, a Nigerian payment service provider, has raised $30 million in a pre-Series B investment. Base 10 Partners of San Francisco led the investment, which according to YCombinator data on its most valuable firms, puts the company at $150 million or more.
Along with new backers Helios Digital Ventures and Shopify, which may be making its first investment on the continent through the Nigerian fintech company, existing investors Partech and Khosla Ventures from its $5 million Series A round in 2019 also participated.
Adeyinka Adewale and Pelumi Aboluwarin’s Nomba, financed by YC, received a rebranding in May from Kudi, which debuted in 2016 as a chatbot integration that replies to financial requests on social platforms. Despite the prevalence of digital financial products, it was an online solution that struggled to achieve massive scale in an African nation where 90% of transactions in the informal economy are cash-based, and over 60 million adults in Nigeria are unbanked.
Two years after launching its chatbot, Nomba changed its business model to match the idea that cash is still king. The agency banking model provided POS machines to thousands of people and small business owners (who served as its agents), enabling them to provide essential financial services, including cash withdrawal, money transfers, and bill payments to unbanked and unbanked underbanked Nigerians.
Now, Fintech has evolved into much more than that. Through the acquisition of CrowdForce, it changed its name from Kudi, a straightforward cash-in, cash-out, payment, and collection POS system, to Nomba, an omnichannel platform with a variety of business and management tools for different types of businesses that also appeals to other fintech providing interchangeable services like Moniepoint, OPay, and FairMoney.