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Kippa gets a Super-Agent banking license as it grows its plans to help small and medium-sized businesses in Nigeria


The Kippa ,a financial technology startup based in Nigeria, announced today that the Central Bank of Nigeria has granted it a Super-Agent banking license. This is a significant step toward the company’s goal of making it simple for anyone to launch and manage successful small businesses anywhere in Africa.

A Super-Agent is a corporately licensed person or business that is allowed to do certain banking activities in the community, such as depositing and withdrawing cash, paying bills (utilities, taxes, tenement rates, subscriptions, etc.), giving out and getting back money for loans, and so on.

Kippa was initially developed as an app for financial management and was launched in June 2021. The app allows small business proprietors to monitor their companies’ overall performance over time, create invoices and receipts, manage inventory, and keep track of daily transactions involving their income and expenses.

In November of 2016, the business got pre-seed financing of $3.2 million, with the Berlin-based venture capital firm Target Global as the lead investor. In addition, venture capital firms such as Entrée Capital, Alter Global, and Rally Cap Ventures took part.

Along with other angel investors, Babs Ogundeyi, the CEO of Kuda, Kyane Kassiri, Sriram Krishnan, an investor in Khatabook, Raffael Johnen, who is the CEO of Auxmoney, and others, invested.

The Start up  disclosed that it now has over 500,000 registered merchants inside its network and has recorded an annualized transaction value of over $3 billion. In November 2021, it announced that it had more than 130,000 active businesses that had processed $130 million.

During a call with TechCabal, Kennedy Ekezie, CEO and co-founder of Kippa, described the acquisition of this license as the logical move for the financial technology business.

This license lets us give all of our customers the tools and infrastructure they need to not only accept payments but also start giving their end customers financial services, Ekezie said. It allows us to integrate with national switches and provide business-to-business, platform, and services to other fintech.”

Does Kippa want to become a Neobank?

It is not a stretch of the imagination to believe that Kippa’s purchase of this license is a step toward becoming a neobank, given that several African fintech startups, such as Fairmoney, Ever send, and Branch, have transformed into neobanks over the past two years.

However, Ekezie does not believe that Kippa will take that path, at least not soon.

According to Ekezie, “we most certainly would not use the name neobank to characterize what we are attempting to do.” 

From my observations, corporations do not desire financial investment opportunities. When it comes to sustainable and profitable growth, businesses are looking for prospects, tools, and financial support.

Keeping this in mind, we are working hard to continue offering them solutions that will enable them to achieve their goals.

Kippa provides services to merchants in all 36 states of Nigeria. The cities of Lagos, Ibadan, Abuja, Port Harcourt, and Kano are among the top five states in which its merchants are most prevalent.

This year, the company has also made several significant additions, including the appointment of Osagie Alonge, a marketing leader who formerly worked for TeamApt and Opay, to Director of Marketing.

Additionally, the company recruited Toyin Albert, a formerly employed Chief Growth Officer at ITEX Integrated Services, to serve as the head of its Payment Services, and Niyi Ajao, a previously used Deputy Managing Director of the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS), to serve as the chairman of the company’s board of directors.

According to a recent Enhancing Financial Innovation Access report, Nigeria has about 50 million small companies.

Kippa is just one of many new companies that are in the process of developing tools and solutions for these smaller companies. 

Ekezie noted that the company’s approach to software development first had been one of the defining characteristics in the market for the company, even though its products and services appear to be comparable to one another.

We believe that the company that works out, at the exact  nanoscale scale, how to develop for and serve these enterprises in a profitable long-term way will emerge victorious in this market segment. That is the goal that we are aiming for,” Ekezie explained.




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