TeamApt, a Nigerian fintech startup and leader in payment infrastructure and digital banking, has disclosed that it working on tech for non-interest financing for small businesses in the northern part of the country.
“We expect to have banking partnerships to bring the product to life,” Tosin Eniolorunda, founder and CEO of TeamApt, said.
The company plans to launch the product in the coming quarters after regulatory approvals.
Nigeria’s bustling fintech scene raised more than $600 million in funding the past five years. In 2019 alone, the West African nation attracted a quarter of the $491.6 million solicited by African tech start-ups and is now home to over 200 fintech standalone companies.
“Many of these [unbanked] individuals are in the informal economy, often in remote areas that are not easily accessible,” said Eniolorunda.
“Fintechs and banks must be ready to adopt a more flexible approach to onboarding these individuals than what has been done to date.”
Fintech adoption is highest in Lagos and growing in the South. However, it remains nascent in the North, a region with a high Muslim concentration.
As over 53% of Nigeria’s estimated 214 million population are Muslim, this segment is underserved. This is the big gap that TeamApt is addressing.
Developing this underserved segment requires focused investment in digital ID growth, financial education, and telecommunication infrastructure, explicitly targeting Muslim demographics and geographies, Eniolorunda reckons.
Founded in 2015 and dubbed by a global fintech index as “a company to watch”, TeamApt designs accessible financial products for individuals and businesses.
“After collaborating with major Nigerian banks, reducing bottlenecks in their payment processing operations, and gaining in-depth industry intelligence, we recognized the need to extend our expertise to businesses and consumers,” Eniolorunda said.
In 2019, TeamApt launched its mobile money platform Moniepoint, designed for people who don’t have access to banking infrastructure in their communities. It has become the largest non-bank mobile money operator in Nigeria by value processed despite being the latest entrant, according to company data.
Through an agent network 30,000 strong, Moniepoint processes 13 million transactions monthly with a value of 197 billion Nigerian Naira (about $520 million). User growth averages 23% month-on-month.
Despite being a bootstrapped company, TeamApt ran profitably in its first three years.
“When we decided to evolve from servicing banks majorly and develop more consumer-facing products, we raised $5.5 million in capital in a Series A funding,” Eniolorunda said, referring to the fundraising in February 2019.