Nigerian fintech startup Pivo raises funding from Microtraction

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Nigerian startup Pivo, a credit-focused financial services company for SME players in the supply chain, has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from early-stage VC firm Microtraction.

Founded last year by Nkiru Amadi-Emina and Ijeoma Jacquelyn Akwiwu, Pivo offers SME owners in the supply chain sector a new and more efficient way to access financial services. Pivo Capital, the company’s flagship product, allows companies to access working capital loans of up to US$50,000 to help scale their business. 

It also provides trade financing support, which helps suppliers fulfill customer orders even when they lack the upfront capital, and by the end of the first quarter of this year expects to launch its Finance product in beta. With this feature, users will be able to open and operate a corporate bank account that is tailored to their business.

To fund this product expansion, Pivo took on some capital from Microtraction back in September. Founded in 2017, Microtraction invests in startups at the very earliest stage of their development, and has so far backed a host of Nigerian startups, like Accounteer, Riby, Thank U Cash, CowryWise, Wallet.ng, Schoolable, 54gene, Termii and Festival Coins, as well as Ghana’s Bit Sika and Kenya’s Raise. Pivo is one of 14 investments made by the firm over the course of 2021.

“There are around 20 million SMEs in the supply chain/logistics industry and these businesses contribute about US$19.2 billion, which forms 40 per cent of the US$48 billion revenue generated in this sector annually,” Microtraction said in a statement.

“In the global market, Tradeshift, a supply chain financing group that has American Express and Goldman Sachs on its cap table, recently exceeded the US$1 trillion transaction value mark, doubling in only two years. We expect Pivo to replicate this success in the coming years as it builds out its multi-product strategy.”

At the time of the investment, Pivo had onboarded 100 active customers and processed more than US$100,000 in loan applications. Since then, these numbers have more then doubled, with 70 per cent of loans disbursed going to logistics sub-contractors.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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