Nigeria based internet-free mobile payment startup IroFit has raised USD 600K in seed funding from a group of investors including leading Nordic early-stage VC firm Inventure, major Finnish payments industry software development company Solinor, and Nigeria based industry expert and angel investor Rasheed Olaoluwa.
“The angel investor from Nigeria, Rasheed Olaoluwa, found us through our VC4Africa venture profile, then reached out to us”, says Omoniyi Olawale, IroFit’s Founder and CEO. “He was the first investor we got in the group. So that says something about the impact VC4Africa is making.”
IroFit is one of the 40 startups that was selected to pitch their new products at DEMO Africa two months ago. Investor Rasheed Olaoluwa was present as one of the speakers at the DEMO Africa event in Lagos, Nigeria.
IroFit builds a mobile card payment system that allows merchants to accept card payments without an internet connection. They provides a seamlessly integrated mobile platform for small businesses to accept card payments and organize growing operations: all with a mobile app and an EMV-certified card reader. It also provides support for small business management tools – sales analytics, accounting, inventory management, CRM, loyalty management, and payroll support. One of the company’s unique selling point is that the proprietary technology works even in areas with no Internet connection, uniquely positioning IroFit to serve merchants in fast-growing emerging markets Vc4Africa reports.
Founded in 2014 in Finland, IroFit has already won multiple awards for their innovative technology and service design. In addition to the funding round, IroFit simultaneously signed a major agreement with a leading financial institution, to be announced at a later date, which guarantees a hundred thousand payment devices will be available to the Nigerian market upon launch.
The funds raised will be used to finalize IroFit’s proprietary platform and launch the service in Nigeria. “Emerging markets are the fastest growing economies in the world”, said IroFit founder Omoniyi Olawale, “and they demand solutions designed specifically for their needs, rather than repurposed services originally built for Western markets.”
According to Ilkka Kivimaki, Partner at Inventure, leading the investment round, “the outdated payments infrastructure is undergoing disruption around the world. We believe IroFit has the team, technology, and service culture to address the peculiar dynamics in emerging markets in a game-changing way. They are ready for rapid growth, and we at Inventure are excited to be part of it.”