Maplerad, a Nigerian banking-as-a-service platform, has received seed funding of $6 million from a venture capital firm run by Peter Thiel.
Kuda and Yellow Card were their first and second African investments. Additional investors in the round include Michael Vaughn, the former COO of Venmo, Fintech Fund; Babs Ogundeyi, the CEO of Kuda, Armyn Capital, Dunbar Capital, Strawhat Investment, Polymath Capital, Unpopular Ventures; Sean Mahsoul, and MyAsiaVC. The founders of the company stated that they also contributed financial resources.
In 2020, Miracle Anywanwu and Obinna Chukwujioke, the founders of Maplerad, launched the company’s first product, Wirepay. This event marked the beginning of Maplerad’s business history.
The platform’s original goal was to make it easier for users to send money across borders by giving them both fiat and cryptocurrency payment options.
But over time, it changed into an “all-in-one finance platform” that lets users pay bills, make virtual and physical cards, and receive, store and send payments in many different currencies.
Last year, OnDeck gave $125,000 to Wirepay as part of an unannounced pre-seed funding round. Berrywood Capital, Greenhouse Capital, some executives from Stash, and Golden Palm Investments Corporation were also part of the round.
Anywanwu said that when Wirepay had more than 50,000 customers, most of them in Nigeria, companies started to ask about how the services on its consumer app were made possible by its internal architecture. “People wanted to use the infrastructure that made Wirepay, our license coverages, and our banking relationships possible,” said the CEO and the CTO.
Anywanwu also said that Maplerad, the holding company, had always wanted to let other companies use this infrastructure.
In the end, though, they decided to beta-launch Maplerad. This infrastructure product lets businesses add powerful financial services like accounts, payments, foreign exchange (FX), and cards to their products this August because of all the outside requests.
When asked about the startup’s competitive advantage, Anchor’s CEO said that his founding team’s technical expertise, focus on security and scalability, and the speed with which companies can launch on their platform were all factors.
When asked the same question, the founders of Maplerad talked about the platform’s “wider range of banking partnerships,” “second-to-none technology,” and “top institutional investors/partners.”
In a statement about the investment, James Fitzgerald, a partner at Valar Ventures, said, “There is a big chance for Maplerad, which is the best-in-class banking as a service solution, to give businesses the financial infrastructure they need to grow quickly and smoothly in Africa and around the world.” Even though many people in Africa still don’t have enough money to live on, this is still the case.
While Maplerad was still in stealth mode, more than 100 companies joined its platform. Startups like Spleet,Pastel, Vella Bridge card, Crowdforce, Onboardly, Dojah, GetEquity, and a few banks use it to process millions of dollars each month. Now that it is no longer a secret, it plans to use the money to get more clients, get new licenses, hire more people, and solidify its position across Africa.
Because of digital transformation, data is becoming more accessible across businesses, increasing transparency and improving user experiences.
In some cases, new technologies are putting data in customers’ hands and making room for legacy systems to be used by growing businesses and third parties.
Banking-as-a service In the financial sector, service platforms have become essential to open banking. In open banking, businesses give account holders more options for financial transparency by making their application programming interfaces (APIs) available to outside developers of new services like Maplerad.
In the fintech industry, platforms that offer banking as a service (BaaS) have become very popular in the past 18 months.
Through partnerships with banks, these platforms make it possible for businesses, fintech, large businesses, and banks to offer their customers specialized banking services and experiences. This is what Maplerad is all about.