Nigerian startup Thepeer raises $2.1million to connect businesses

Interoperability becomes a major issue as more African startups start to emerge to solve the multitude of problems across the continent. Thepeer, for instance, believes that fintech users want transactions to be completed seamlessly and without having to go through multiple options.

Today’s announcement by the startup is the $2.1 million seed round. It was led by Raba Partnership, who was an early investor in Flutterwave and Stitch. Rallycap, Timon Capital and Sunu Ventures were among the investors. Uncovered Fund and African fintechs Chipper Cash as well as Stitch participated in this round.

Sharing why they invested in the one-year-old startup, George Rzepecki, founder of Raba Partnership, said, “The opportunity that Thepeer is addressing reminded us of the fragmented card and mobile money payments landscape Flutterwave identified six years ago.

“Today, with the proliferation of consumer and B2B fintechs across Africa, Thepeer is building a foundational API-based payments layer where fintechs can enable money movement natively from within their respective wallets and apps.  We are incredibly excited to support this ambitious team building a next-generation network.”

Kosisochukwu Chike Ononye (Co-Founder and CEO) and Michael ‘Trojan’ Okoh (Co-Founder and CTO) founded Thepeer in 2021 to enable businesses to share information via an API after they realised that they could not send money between fintech wallets.

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Michael Okoh, Chike Ononye and Chike Okoh, co-founders of Thepeer. Image source: Supplied

The startup offers three main products to businesses – Direct Charge, Send, and Checkout. Direct Charge allows users to fund their wallets from different businesses. A user can, for example, fund their eCommerce wallet using a fintech wallet and not need to use a bank.

Customers can send money with Send to one another, provided that all parties use Thepeer-integrated businesses. Checkout allows customers to pay with Thepeer.

The startup has closed its seed round and is now focusing on boarding more businesses in Africa and expanding its product range.

“Today, there are nearly 600 fintechs across the continent, most of which operate siloed wallets.  Our goal is to make it easy to connect to any wallet and make payments. We are developing an operating system that will allow businesses to offer additional services to customers. Our focus remains on product innovation and serving our customers who operate across different geographies,” Ononye said.

The business currently serves 17 African businesses, including Nguvu Health and Buyfoods. The company has seen a 161% increase in transaction volume since its inception, while processing over $12 million for businesses.

“At Eversend, our belief is that wallets are the future of payments. Our multi-currency wallets are the foundation of every product we create. The team at Thepeer extends the power and use-cases of our user’s wallets.

“We’ve seen our users pay for food, health care, and investments using their Eversend balances through Thepeer. This is exactly the kind of value-chain we envisioned from our wallets system,” said Ronald Kasendwa, Eversend Co-founder and CTO.

Joshua Koya, CEO and Co-Founder of Nguvu Health, also shared how Thepeer’s solution helps Nguvu Health’s customers.

“One amazing thing about Thepeer is that it has made it easier for people to pay for therapy on Nguvu Health. Our users now have options with Thepeer’s integration with other fintech wallets where they can pay from for therapy.”

Thepeer charges customers as well as businesses for transactions that are made through its platform. Ononye said that although the company had previously offered a subscription to businesses, they now offer a pay as you go model.

Individuals that use Thepeer’s Direct Charge and Checkout features are charged 0.5% of the transaction value plus ₦25, capped at ₦2,000. Businesses are charged $0.01 per Send or Direct Charge transaction.

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