By Edlyn Cardoza
September 01, 2022
- B2B payments
- Business-to-business payment platform
Duplo, a business-to-business payment platform which makes it easier for African businesses of all sizes to pay themselves, raised $4.3 million in seed funding to launch new products and expand into new business sectors in Nigeria. The seed funding round included Liquid2 Ventures, Soma Capital, Tribe Capital, Commerce Ventures, Basecamp Fund and Y Combinator. Oui Capital also reinvested after participating in the previous round.
Peter Oriaifo, director at Oui Capital, said, “The Duplo team has built an incredible suite of products that improve the way businesses make and receive payments from each other, and the growth the business has seen since our initial pre-seed investment in 2021 has been nothing short of impressive. It is for this reason that we are delighted to support Duplo once again.
Since going live in January 2022, Duplo has seen significant uptake with FMCG distributors and mid-to-large enterprise finance teams, helping them digitize and simplify the way money flows between them and their trading partners. FMCG distributors can onboard retailers into their network on the Duplo platform, making it easier for them to collect payments digitally and access real-time insights into business performance. They can also automate payments to vendors, manufacturers, and suppliers, with instant payments allowing them to transact in larger quantities.
For finance teams, Duplo’s end-to-end solution automates back-office processes for generating and processing invoices, receiving and approving invoices, collecting and disbursing funds, and reconciling accounts. Duplo works seamlessly with all major accounting and ERP platforms such as Microsoft Dynamics, SAP, QuickBooks, and Sage, and payments processed through Duplo are automatically synced to these platforms in real time.
With Duplo, businesses can reduce the time spent on administrative tasks such as account reconciliation by up to 50% and reduce payment-related costs by up to 85%. Over the past 3 months, the company has increased the number of businesses on its platform by 1000%, and the total volume of payments has also increased by 4200% over the past 5 months.
According to world Bank, B2B payments in sub-Saharan Africa represent a $1.5 trillion market. However, making and receiving payments remains largely manual, making it costly and highly inefficient for businesses. Invoices are also not standardized and are usually issued and received manually, increasing the administrative burden on business owners, which takes more time and effort that can be invested in their business.
A recent report from Double, which included the surveyed opinions of over 1,000 business owners from Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa and Egypt, also pointed out that 44% of businesses still have to wait more than 24 hours to receive payments from customers and business partners. 34% take up to 7 days to receive payments, 17% take up to 30 days and 3% take more than 30 days to receive business payments. This presents a significant challenge for businesses, which often cannot maximize the sales and growth opportunities available to them due to cash restrictions brought about by complex payment processes.
Yele Oyekola, CEO and co-founder of Duplo“We have seen a lot of innovation in consumer payments in Africa in recent years, but business-to-business payments have largely remained the same. We strongly believe there is a great opportunity to catalyze growth and maximize business opportunities across the continent by removing the bottlenecks that impede the continuous flow of money between businesses and we are delighted to have raised funds from this exciting group of investors to deliver so much of the need for a transformation”.
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