BY TOM JACKSON
The Y Combinator-backed Nigerian fintech startup Lemonade Finance has raised a US$725,000 pre-seed funding round to help it scale.
A participant in Y Combinator’s W21 batch earlier this year, Lemonade Finance allows Africans abroad to send and receive money from their home countries in efficient, affordable and fast ways. Its app allows users to hold their balances in the currencies that matter to them, easily converting one to the other.
To help it scale, the startup has now raised US$725,000 in pre-seed funding. Alongside Y Combinator, other investors in the round are Microtraction, Ventures Platform, and Acuity Venture Partners. Several individual investors also took part.
The startup’s co-founders, Ridwan Olalere and Rian Cochran say that this flexibility is intentional and has been at the core of the team’s thinking in building the app.
“Before Lemonade, international money transfers that should take minutes took days. Those are hours of stress and anxiety for you and your family while your money is stuck in transit. It also makes it difficult for many Africans abroad, who own businesses, to keep those ventures running. The Lemonade app solves all that, with great rates and instant transfers across borders; it’s a game-changer for the African diaspora,” said Olalere.
Dayo Koleowo, managing partner at Microtraction, said Lemonade’s solution was very timely.
“As a multi-currency financial service provider, they make it easy for the African diaspora to send and receive money from their new country of residence, which is remarkable. We believe Rian and Ridwan have the technical and financial know-how to provide the number one cross-border neobank for Africans in diaspora,” he said.
Kayode Oyewole, a partner at Ventures Platform, said his firm was excited to back Lemonade, which has built a “compelling financial product to serve the more than 100 million African diaspora, who today have limited access to great financial products”.