[Nigeria] Financial and energy access startup InfiBranches raises $2m pre-seed funding
Nigeria's financial and energy access startup InfiBranches Technologies Limited has raised a $2m investment pre-seed raise round to help bridge the energy distribution gap in Nigeria’s underserved rural and peri-urban areas and foster financial inclusion.
The round was led by Shell-funded impact investment company All On.
Olusola Owoyemi, InfiBranches CEO, said he is enthusiastic about the potential of this deal to fill the gap by connecting consumers and service providers seamlessly, illustrating the interconnected nature of financial inclusion and poverty reduction.
“Through this investment, InfiBranches plans to speed up customer acquisition in its current markets. This will also improve existing products like OmniBranches, which has served over a million customers, and introduce new products and services to address energy distribution issues”, Owoyemi said.
InfiBranches is currently the only company in the fintech space that has built a secure platform that serves as a single point of integration for payments and other financial services for service providers in the Nigerian renewable energy sector. The platform also supports agent banking businesses, enabling them to provide services such as cash payments and withdrawals, money transfers, utility, and telco payments, to name a few.
The Nigerian Off-Grid Market Acceleration Programme, a not-for-profit initiative backed by UK charity Shell Foundation, USAID, and UKaid, has supported InfiBranches to develop a single payment integration solution for the Nigerian SHS sector that helps facilitate payment collection through a network of agents across Nigeria, including banks and mobile money agents across the payment value chain.
“The programme’s work with InfiBranches has shown how important it is to continue addressing market barriers, enabling enterprises to more quickly expand their life-changing energy solutions to households and SMEs across Nigeria.” Shell Foundation CEO Sam Parker said.
All On’s investment will trigger the next phase of InfiBranches’ growth by financing inventory and agent acquisition, product and technology development, and provide working capital for business operations towards the company’s distribution of Solar Home Systems for households and commercial users across Nigeria with a particular focus in the Niger Delta.
“We are particularly thrilled about this deal because it’s an innovative business model that solves the payments and collections problems that Solar Home System distributors and mini-grid developers face across Nigeria,” said Dr Wiebe Boer, All On CEO. “This partnership merges fintech and renewables in a way we haven’t seen in Nigeria before and will enable tens of thousands of new electricity connections.”