TechInAfrica – The Nigerian fintech Earnipay has raised $4m in a seed round led by early-stage venture capital firm Canaan.
Various stakeholders participated in the round, including XYZ Ventures, Village Global, Musha Ventures, Voltron Capital, Ventures Platform, and Paystack CEO Shola Akinlade.
Earnipay will use the funding to export the platform regionally and to target large enterprises.
The platform is catered to employees who seek to earn weekly or biweekly salaries.
“I was paying them once a month, and it didn’t make sense to them,” Earnipay founder and CEO Nonso Onwuzulike told Techcrunch. Before Earnipay came into existence, his prior experience as founder of Reaval, Ghana-based recycling revealed a different side of the employees’ needs and preferences, which is the weekly/biweekly salaries.
According to Techcrunch, the problem with monthly payments is that it tends to be low, yet the daily life cost demands much that employees ended up getting money from loan sharks and payday lenders to cover it.
“They ended up not being productive because they had money issues,” said Onwuzulike about his former employees. “It led to attrition and retention problems for me because these were guys who are used to getting paid immediately.” He also learned that the monthly cycle is a tough arrangement for people who earn less income.
He then developed a solution for Reaval, shifting it to weekly/biweekly payment and scaling it to companies in the formal sector too after considering a survey that revealed 80% of employees in the formal sector preferred flexible access to their salaries. He is then joined by Busayo Oyetunji and Joshua Ajayi as COO and CTO.
Earnipay is integrated with companies existing payroll or HRM systems, and employees can withdraw their salaries daily with a limit set by companies depending on their monthly salaries. Earnipay charged employees ₦250 for withdrawals of ₦2,000($4) to ₦10,000 ($20) and ₦500 ($1) from ₦10,000 to ₦50,000 ($100).
It offers two options for companies for reimbursement, they can be paid on behalf of Earnipay before the end of month reimbursement, or an automatic reimbursement schedule can be set from the reconciliation account on top of employees’ salary accounts.
“We’ve seen earned wage access grow rapidly in many markets and believe it’s a natural fit in Africa,” said Brendan Dickinson, general partner at Canaan, in a statement.
“Earnipay has quickly established itself with a product built specifically for the payroll behaviors of this region, and early employer uptake is very strong. Nonso has built one of the strongest teams that we’ve met on the entire continent, and we’re thrilled for the opportunity to partner with them.”
Earnipay is an on-demand salary access platform that has served over 20 businesses, outsourcing firms, and HR solutions providers in Nigeria ever since its first beta release on September 2021 and launch last month. It is considered a financial wellness solution for employees, and aims to offer its solution to 200,000 employees by the end of 2022.