ImaliPay gets $3M to offer financial services to underserved gig workers across Africa – TechCrunch

The gig economy is experiencing profound growth in Africa. However, all this growth has not changed the status of workers who Are seen as contractors instead of employees.

because many of them, particularly in the two-wheel space, lack access to some financial services, being a contractor is a disadvantage. Some gig platforms have tried to integrate financial services into their systems, but are limited.

Meanwhile, other fintechs are providing a broader spectrum of financial services for these temporary workers (who, according to the Mastercard Foundation, They are expected reach more than 80 million by 2030). ImaliPay is an example.

The company, which describes itself as a one-stop-shop financial services platform, has closed a $3 million seed round in debt and equity.. The fintech raised a pre-seed round of $800,000 in 2020.

That was released in late 2020 by Tatenda Furusa and Oluwasanmi Akinmusire after Furusa noted the challenges transport drivers faced when accessing working capital or emergencies such as running out of fuel in Nairobi.

“A couple of things related to this point,” CEO Furusa told TechCrunch on a call when asked how the company got started.. “Once a Bolt driver ran out of fuel in Nairobi when I was coming from the airport and couldn’t immediately refuel. It got me thinking about what other pains these temporary workers might be experiencing,” he said.

“We investigated the economics of concerts and discovered that were careless for some financial services. And we saw that we were perfectly placed on building a financial technology that solves the problems of Africa’s informal economy workers, freelancers, and self-employed digital workers.”

ImaliPay Pilot was based about the Furusa meetup – a buy now pay later (BNPL) fuel product, but for two-wheeled gig rigs as the company partnered with a few fuel stations in Ibadan, Nigeria to offer this service to the SafeBoda passengers.

The startup proceeded to create an ecosystem of partners structured so that some give access to new users while others support their ecosystem and marketplace.

“We develop other services around spare parts, smartphones, power banks, savings and investments, and insurance bundled with those products,” Furusa said. “So, just like accident coverages and income protection loss insurance, we weave these products together so that freelancers can qualify for each product based on their transactional behavior.”

Concert platforms are first of all responsible for the former. It has 15 partners in this category, including Bolt, Glovo, SWVL, Amitruck, Safeboda, Gokada, and Max.ng.

But vendors dealing with the fuel, spare parts, mobile phones and other items concert workers need to operate make up the second.. The same goes for the platforms that ImaliPay has partnered with to provide additional financial services such as insurance (health and loss of income protection) and savings in Kenya and South Africa, partnering with different gig platforms.

collectively, there are about 35 of them and some of them include Lami, Cowrywise, Ola Energy, Total Energies, HiFi Corporation and Britam. It offers these financial services to freelancers on this network by connecting its APIs to partner companies or directly through a freelance app, chatbot, USSD.

In 15 months of operation, ImaliPay’s user base has grown 60 times. These temporary workers, numbering “tens of thousands” according to the company, access its services through 4,500 provider points.. More than 200,000 transactions have been made on the ImaliPay platform. The Pan-African Incorporated Finance Provider’s revenue comes from transaction and referral fees.

COO Akinmusire and Furusa met while working at Cellulant before starting ImaliPay. They received funding from the Google Black Founders Fund last October before closing this seed round, which saw participation from Leonnis Investments.

The round also saw follow-up VC investors such as Ten 13, Uncovered Fund, MyAsia VC, Jedar Capital, Logos Ventures, Plug N Play Ventures, Untapped Global, Latam Ventures, Cliff Angels, Chandaria Capital and Changecom. Angel investors such as Keisuke Honda of KSK Angels and others from Serbia, Kenya and Norway participated..

The investment will go towards expanding its 50-man team, upgrading its technology and exploring new markets such as Ghana and Egypt, the founders said.

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