BY TOM JACKSON
Nigerian startup Duplo, a B2B payment platform that makes it easier for African businesses of all sizes to pay each other, has raised US$4.3 million in seed funding to launch new products and expand into new business verticals.
Founded by Yele Oyekola and Tunde Akinnuwa in September 2021, Duplo allows B2B companies to automate payment inflows, reconcile at scale, and create a streamlined experience for business customers.
Businesses are able to perform all their payment operation needs on Duplo and also offer financial services to their customers, with the startup describing itself as a “financial operating system for B2B companies”.
The startup announced a US$1.3 million pre-seed earlier this year after taking part in the Y Combinator W22 batch, and has now swiftly moved onto seed with this US$4.3 million investment. The round comes from investors including Liquid2 Ventures, Soma Capital, Tribe Capital, Commerce Ventures, Basecamp Fund, and Y Combinator, while Oui Capital re-invested after participating in the previous round.
Since going live in January, Duplo has seen great traction with FMCG distributors and finance teams of mid-sized and enterprise businesses, helping them to digitise and simplify the way money moves between them and their business partners. With the new funding on board, it plans to develop new products and expand into other business verticals.
“We have seen a lot of innovation in consumer payments in Africa in recent years but business-to-business payments have largely stayed the same. We strongly believe that there is a great opportunity to catalyse growth and maximise business opportunities across the continent by removing the bottlenecks that hinder the seamless flow of money between businesses and we are excited to have raised funding from this exciting group of investors to deliver this much-needed transformation,” Oyekola said.
Peter Oriaifo, principal at Oui Capital, said, the Duplo team had built an “incredible” suite of products that improve how businesses make and receive payments from each other.
“The growth that the company has experienced since our initial pre-seed investment in 2021 has been nothing short of impressive. It is for this reason that we are excited to back Duplo once more,” he said.