Thepeer, an API-based startup that connects African businesses, is raising $2.1 million led by the Raba Partnership.

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Feast, an African technology infrastructure startup that connects enterprise wallets, has raised a $2.1 million seed round led by the Raba Partnership. The news comes a year after the startup raised $220,000 from multiple angel investors, including Paystack CTO Ezra Olubi and Edenlife CTO Prosper Otemuiva.

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Seed investors include Thepeer, Rali_cap Ventures, Timon Capital, BYLD Ventures, Musha Ventures, Sunu, and Uncovered Fund. African fintech companies Chipper Cash and Stitch have also invested.

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Thepeer is not purely a fintech game; it sits at the intersection of data and finance. Like other API-based startups, it maintains infrastructure mainly for small to medium-sized fintech companies.. However, problems Kosisochukwu Chike Onone as well as Michael “Trojan” Oko who wanted to decide when they first launched the company in August 2021 have impacted fintech more than any other segment.

Last year, the number of African fintech companies increased by 17.3% to 573, up from 491 in 2019, according to local publication Disrupt Africa. Most of these fintech companies serve businesses and consumers with a variety of services such as payments, neobanking, lending, investing, and trading. While they provide digital wallets to facilitate money transfers, there is a lack of mobile wallet compatibility outside of their ecosystem; in fact, transferring money from one fintech wallet to another fintech or non-fintech wallet (in the case of an embedded financial game) is difficult.

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Thepeer says its APIs provide an alternative network where fintechs and businesses can embed different suites of products into their apps and websites to make it easier for their customers to move money.

Sendthe offer it launched with allows customers of companies that integrate with its API, such as Eversend (a cross-border fintech) and Nguvu Health (a teletherapy platform), to send money to both platforms using identifiers such as emails or usernames.

“I made a purchase from a vendor and couldn’t pay after using multiple apps and couldn’t transfer money from one wallet where I had cash to another,” CEO Ononye told TechCrunch why he and CTO Oko founded the company . in an interview. “After we launched our first product [Send], we went back to the drawing board because we needed to get something right. During this process, we found more problems with consumers and businesses.”

After sending Thepeer in partnership with Flutterwave — a unicorn whose API gateways are the most extensive in Africa for mobile wallets and bank accounts — and built on its platform to expand its reach. The partnership helped launch two additional B2B2C products: Direct Charge and Checkout.

direct charge allows customers of about 15 businesses to replenish their wallets from each other. Here’s how it works. As an Nguvu Health user, there are various ways to fund your wallet such as cards and bank transfers; Thepeer is another option. So when Nguvu Health users choose Thepeer, they can choose any of the 15 wallets, integrate it with their Nguvu Health wallet, and initiate a direct payment transaction.

“The amazing thing about Thepeer is that it’s made it easier for people to pay for therapy on the Nguvu Health app, making it easy and affordable for Africans to access therapy from their smartphones,” Nguvu Health CEO Joshua Koya said of Thepeer’s integration. “Our users now have options to integrate Thepeer with other fintech wallets where they can pay for therapy.”

However, Checkout works in a similar way on websites for businesses such as online food and clothing stores. Thepeer emerges as a payment method when customers shop online and allows them to pay for items from their Bitsika, Eversend, Chipper Cash and Paga wallets.

The annual fintech startup has seen an average monthly transaction growth of 161% since its launch. And with the launch of Send, its new product focused on helping businesses send money to each other through its control panel (rather than a consumer-facing panel), its monthly transaction volume has grown more than 65 times to an “eight-figure” million dollars. .

“We see our product as an API-based platform that helps connect fintechs, consumers, and businesses, offering a seamless flow of money,” Ononnier said. “Today, there are about 600 fintech companies on the continent, most of which use disparate wallets. Our goal is to make it possible to connect and pay from any wallet. We are building an operating system so that businesses can offer more services to their customers.”

What started as a challenge for founders moving value across their various applications has evolved into an infrastructure that connects multiple businesses and delivers more value to its users. It was this progress that made Slave Partnership lead the round. Its founder George Rzepecki, in a statement, compared Thepeer’s move to unify the African wallet ecosystem to how Flutterwave entered the fragmented card and mobile payment space in 2015.

“With the proliferation of consumer and B2B fintech companies in Africa, Thepeer is creating a fundamental layer of API-based payments where fintech companies can secure the movement of money from their respective wallets and apps,” he continued. “We are incredibly excited to support this ambitious team building the next generation network.”

Thepeer continues the Raba Partnership’s long list of fintech investments in Africa. Although he has invested in some consumer platforms such as Tndr as well as JamoRaba is known for supporting infrastructure games such as Flutterwave, Yoko, StitchAxis Pay and Onepipe.

What’s next for Thepeer? The startup plans to roll out more features and wallets in other currencies (its current platform works with Naira wallets), Ononnier said, as well as hire more specialists and invest in product development. “Our focus remains on product innovation and service to our global customers,” he said.

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