Techstars-backed Nigerian fintech Vesti has grand expansion plans for 2022

Vesti, a Nigerian fintech startup, simplifies banking for immigrants and people who just arrived in a country. It has received backing from Techstars.

Launched in May 2021 by two Nigerian brothers – Olusola and Abimbola Amusan, both immigrants in the United States (US) – Vesti this neobank provides financial services, information, and community to the 272 million international migrants without access to banks.

Adaptable to any country, Vesti’s technology allows immigrants to open bank accounts, get debit and credit cards and bank like they never left their home country.

“We also help intending immigrants make difficult migration payments to services in the countries they are moving to, using our platform. Our service is a huge answer to the prayers of immigrants all over the world, who experience pain points when they arrive in a new country,” Olusola told Disrupt Africa.

“Before they arrive, immigrants must pay fees such as attorney fees, credential evaluation and visa-related fees, many of which are not supported by local card companies. All of these payments can now be made online at Vesti. Immigrants must also establish a banking history and improve their credit score when they arrive. This end-to-end payment and banking infrastructure deficit for immigrants is what Vesti is out to simplify.”

Vesti is a great solution in a large market. Investors are backing Vesti’s success. It was one of three Nigerian business owners in April Select for the Techstars NYC accelerator program the startup received US$20,000 equity funding and access other support services. Some VCs, such as Berrywood Capital and Microtraction, also finance the startup. 

“We also have a decent revenue margin and started making money from day one. So far we have raised US$500,000, and we are closing on more venture funding, to keep us ahead of the competition,” Olusola said.

Vesti – which makes money from transaction fees on payment services, upgrade fees to access migration services in-app, and lending to immigrants – already has around 50,000 users, and is growing fast. This platform has processed over US$1,000,000 in total transaction volume.

“Gaining 50,000 users almost organically in 10 months is proof that people want our service. This is a company that can easily grow to half a million users by the end of 2022,” said Olusola.

This will be done by expanding into new markets. The startup, which is currently operating in Nigeria and the US has plans to expand to Ghana, South Africa and Pakistan as we speak.

“Every year nearly 700,000 new immigrants arrive in the United States, coming mostly from Asia and Mexico. The number of immigrants from Sub-Saharan Africa is increasing by three times each year. This growing trend is unique, and we want to capture this growth and engender further growth,” Olusola said. 

He stated that solving banking problems for immigrants in a new country was difficult, more than trying to solve cross-border payments. However, Vesti believes he is up to the challenge. 

“We encounter a lot of challenges while integrating new services, and building partnerships that drive our business. What keeps us going is the success stories and the customers we serve daily,” said Olusola.

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