Business-to-business payment platform called Duplo, which enables African businesses of all sizes to pay each other, has raised $4.3 million in seed funding to launch new products. This funding will allow Duplo to expand into new business verticals in Nigeria.
Y Combinator, Liquid2 Ventures, Soma Capital, Tri Capital, Commerce Ventures, and Basecamp Fund were the investors who participated in the seed funding round. In addition, Oui Capital made a new investment after participating in the prior one.
Since it went live in January 2022, Duplo has gained significant traction with FMCG distributors and the finance teams of midsize and enterprise businesses. It does this by assisting these businesses to digitize and simplify how money is transferred between themselves and their business partners.
Duplo allows FMCG distributors to onboard retailers in their network, making it easier for them to collect payments digitally and access real-time insights into the performance of their businesses.
In addition, they can make payments to vendors, manufacturers, and suppliers, and instant payments make it possible for them to conduct business in more significant quantities.
Duplo’s end-to-end solution for finance teams automates back office processes such as putting together and processing invoices, receiving and approving bills, collecting and sending out money, and balancing accounts.
Payments processed through Duplo are automatically synced in real-time with major accounting and ERP platforms such as Microsoft Dynamics, SAP, QuickBooks, and Sage. This is made possible by Duplo’s seamless integration with these and other major platforms.
Businesses can reduce the amount of time spent on administrative tasks such as account reconciliation by up to 50 percent and the costs associated with payment processing by up to 85 percent with the help of Duplo.
The number of companies using the platform has increased by one thousand during the last three months. Additionally, the total payment volume has increased by 4200% over the past five months.
The value of the market for transactions carried out between companies in Sub-Saharan Africa is estimated to be $1.5 trillion by the World Bank. Nevertheless, a significant portion of the process of making and receiving payments is still performed manually. As a result, this process step is both expensive for businesses and highly inefficient.
Additionally, invoices are not standardized; they are often sent out and received manually. This adds to the administrative burden placed on business owners, requiring them to spend more time and effort that could be put into their companies
A recent report by Duplo that included the surveyed opinions of more than one thousand business owners from Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, and Egypt also highlighted the fact that 44 percent of businesses are still required to wait over 24 hours to receive payments from business customers and partners.
Thirty-four percent of business payments are received within 7 days, 17 percent are received within a period of up to 30 days, and 3 percent are received after more than 30 days.
This presents a significant challenge for businesses, as they are frequently unable to make the most of available opportunities for growth and sales because of restrictions placed on their cash flow due to the complexity of the payment processes.
Yele Oyekola, CEO and co-founder of Duplo, says, “In the past few years, we’ve seen a lot of innovation in consumer payments in Africa. However, business-to-business payments have mostly stayed the same.” In other words, the ways businesses pay each other haven’t changed much.
We strongly believe there is a great chance to boost growth and increase business opportunities across the continent by removing the bottlenecks that stop money from flowing freely between businesses. We are excited to have gotten funding from this exciting group of investors to make this much-needed change.
Peter Oriaifo, a principal at Oui Capital, said, “The Duplo team has made an amazing set of products that make it easier for businesses to send and receive payments.”Since our first pre-seed investment in 2021, the company has grown in a way that has been nothing short of impressive. Because of this, we are happy to support Duplo again.”
By providing digital tools that enable a more streamlined, cost-effective, and transparent process of making and receiving payments, the business-to-business (B2B) payment platform known as Duplo makes it simpler for companies in Africa to pay one another.
We enable businesses to realize their full potential by improving the efficiency of their payment processes, providing them with the tools necessary to cultivate deeper relationships with their business customers and partners, and providing them with the support necessary to make better real-time decisions that improve their bottom line.
With Duplo, companies of any size can easily generate and process invoices, provide their business clients with a more streamlined payment experience, and better position themselves for consistent growth by improving their payment flows.