Nigerian fintech Abeg faces its biggest test yet after blitzscaling to millions of users

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on octoberober 3, ,big brother nise,” a reality show sponsored by Nigerian social payments company Abegg, came to an enthusiastic conclusion after 72 days on air,

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The show, which started on 24 July, is the most popular and most watched reality show in Africa, growing in impressive numbers. According to Money and viewership,

The “Big Brother” franchise started in the Netherlands duplicated Worldwide, including Nigeria, where pay-TV company MultiChoice Nigeria hosts it,


It depicts a group of people living together in a huge house, isolated from the outside world but seen through television cameras,

The recent season of “Big Brother Naija” was the sixth since its launch in 2006. In its fifth season, the show’s organizers claimed that viewers cast 900 million votes.

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With millions of people watching the show daily, it is only fair that the companies that are exposed to the audience have to pay a premium., According to some sources, it costs $2 million to become the headline sponsor of the drama show, and the latest, Abegg, is the newest beneficiary of the blitzscaling growth provided by “BBN”.,

A new generation of fintech app with some drama

abego Was established in 2020 dare adekoya, muheez akni, patricia adopts And Aniola Ajayi-Bembe, Its name is a wordplay on popular Nigerian slang. abeg, which means to ask for or beg for something.

Platform launched in september That Year’s Cash App-esque Play With: By leveraging a wallet-based system, eBeg allows users to send and request money to each other with tags.,

But what started as some Gen Zs trying the great stuff outside of Nigeria’s traditional payment space Quickly Turned into a company looking to scale after gaining 5,000 users in its first few weeks with zero marketing,

And for the next few weeks, Abegg won more users. HoweverComing into 2021, the hype around the app — especially on Twitter, where it gained prominence — died out. It seemed to many that the app was headed for a slow death.

So, it came as a surprise when in April, MultiChoice announced the startup as the show’s headline sponsor, before the sixth season began months later.,

The six-month-old startup, which had not disclosed any fundraising at the time and was struggling, how did it manage to sponsor a show that cost $2 million?, That was the question on the lips of many observers. And they came up with many theories.

However, Nerdshala got some answers in a call with the startup’s founders. “Before the Big Brother show, we had already raised a pre-seed round from local investors,” CEO Adekoya said on the call., He said the team used a parts An unannounced pre-seed round to sponsor the show.

prior to This revelation, the answer appears to be in the fine print multiple choice declaration Back in April, that identified Abegg as “a product of PiggyTech Global Ltd., a leading fintech company”.,

piggytech is the parent company of piggyvestNigeria’s most popular savings app and one of the country’s most valuable fintech startups, MultiChoice announcement shows Abego was acquired by PiggyTech even before the show even started (according to people familiar with the matter, it happened in late 2020), and some sources say that PiggyTech paid “BBN” sponsorship money for Abegg.,

Although the CEO of Abegg dismissed the report, it seems like a more logical claim because rarely will you see a pre-seed stage startup with a few thousand users and $2 million to spend all at once. Will set marketing budget.,

Founder of Abegg.

Abegg has been acquired by its parent company Covered in secrecy. But it has been dazzling for many people for months – especially Nigerian tech Twitter where the handles of Abegg and Piggywest are Regularly Exchange Banquet on Social Media App,

Despite this, PiggyTech and its subsidiaries have neither publicly So far not denied or confirmed their relationship, “we [Abeg and PiggyVest] are under more or less the same parent company; So, like the affiliates and subsidiaries of PiggyTech,” CTO Akni said in the call.,

The relationship has also created some drama. In August, Nigerian tech Twitter was in the news about a young startup that Regret relinquished most of its ownership to a larger company, It didn’t take long for the companies involved to know. There was further speculation about how this contributed to his ouster. Michael “Trojan” Okoho, former CTO Abegg, rolled out the first version of the app late last year,

Some sources tell me that Okoh left because of the ownership dynamics in which PiggyTech reportedly made its way to acquire Abego., Nerdshala contacted Piggyech and Okoh, but they declined to comment.

On a call with Abegg’s founders, however, Akni denied the reports, saying, “You can see it as how someone would usually leave the company and unusually, It was not because of the ‘piggytech takeover’ – it was for other reasons that we would not like to disclose.”

As both camps have moved on from the drama, Okoh has launched Thepir, a Nigerian fintech company where he is chief technology officer, while Abegg numbers have skyrocketed courtesy of “BBN.”,

Big Brother influence and what next?

Abegg isn’t the first tech startup to sponsor a reality TV show; other tech companies Have done so in the past. These include the now-defunct e-commerce company PayPorte; betting companies Betway and Bet9ja; and Fintech Cuda, Patricia and the Unicorn Flutterwave,

Each of them reported astronomical growth after the season finale. For example, digital bank Cuda said it doubled its users to a little over 650,000 after sponsoring the show.

It was the perfect blueprint for Abegg to copy. and did it, skillfully, Entering the show with a revamped design, a relaunched app, and over 20,000 users, Abegg claims it now has around 2 million users,

“‘Big Brother’ is like a big billboard in Africa where brands … can advertise and promote their products. And as Abegg, we are trying to incorporate culture, lifestyle into the app, because payments are part of people’s lives,” said COO Adoga,

“So it’s working out a lot for us because we’re trying … to promote and introduce the brand to the market and [tell] people what are we about and what abeg is supposed going to happen.”

When eBeg launched last year, its best use case for social payments was to let users run giveaway campaigns., Giveaways became more prominent on the app during the Big Brother show as celebrities and influencers (sponsored by Abegg) used the app to send money to their fans.,

It is impossible to rely on such a model. Users enjoyed using the app for cheaper on version 1.0, but it Definitely User retention was not enough. Now that Abegg has gained more users and has grown 100 times, version 2.0. retention will be more important than ever,

The Ebegg team knows this and is exploring more specific use cases with the support of PiggyTech.

“We went the cheap route” basically To attract a lot of signups, that worked, and for people to reserve their usernames and hang around with the app,” Adekoya said, “Going forward, Abegg will be your payment app for anything you pay for.”

That’s why Patronize, also known as “Abegg for businesses”, was launched. The platform, confirmed to Nerdshala by another PiggyTech subsidiary, is a Square-esque product for Nigerian small and medium businesses to accept payments from customers using the Abeg app.,

Like Square, Patronize provides tools to help businesses grow, manage, and reward their customers, Unlike Square, However, is devoid of patron card.

With its own smart point-of-sale devices, Abeg is trying to disrupt POS machines in retail outlets and stores and bank transfers.,

Admittedly, these are two difficult propositions, but Abegg is right to think there is opportunity. While fund transfer in Nigeria takes place with the help of Nigeria Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS) as the infrastructure behind it, Failed Transactions and Downtime still common occurrences,

Ebeg, along with its wallet system, offers a unique channel for making payments, which according to the company has a 99.9% uptime., Abeg banking is that customers will see it as an option when they feel dissatisfied with traditional payments and become the go-to platform for movie, food, event or medicines payments from pharmacies.,

will all this be enough Maintain it the user? This Completely Sure because one would still need to use a bank transfer to fund the eBeg Wallet. And some users I’ve talked with about the product don’t see why they should make a transfer to their eBeg Wallet every time they want to make a payment, while they can transfer money to the recipient’s bank.,

These are the issues that need to be addressed now Maintain it Its millions of users. One way to do this is through direct integration with PiggyVest so that users of the savings app can fund their eBeg wallet.,

What’s the drama here? That’s why PiggyWest reportedly paid 250 billion (~$500 million) into their users’ bank accounts on their last email this month, This is too much money. And since the Abeg Wallet can perform some of the functions of a traditional bank account such as making transfers, bill payments or ticket purchases, PiggyWest is telling its users, “Why don’t we use your Abeg Wallet as your default withdrawal vault instead of your bank accounts.” do as.,

Some users will find this inconvenient. And sources tell me that Abeg may start allowing users to accrue interest on the money sitting in their wallets to please them.

With these features, Abegg’s strategy is to leverage the pull and success of its “sister company” to gain stickiness and, at the same time, build on PiggyTech to bring the financial ecosystem together. Maintain it swimming on water,

Outside of this, Abegg has been sponsoring social events, sponsoring entertainment shows, and concerts by Grammy-award winning artists such as Wizkid and Burna Boy. to acquire More users this upcoming holiday season,

despite the influx of Venture Capital in the Nigerian Fintech Space, Market is crowded Features comparable with the platform such as buying airtime, paying utility bills, making transfers and savings,

Abeg claims to be different as its users will not experience slow payments and high transaction costs that exist on other platforms.,

Although the pitch is lost on some, PiggyTech believes Patronize will do the trick to change their opinion., The business-focused platform is also on a user acquisition spree, involving tens and hundreds of merchants with smart POS devices to cater to the millions of users acquired by Abeg.,

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