“It’s not a change, it’s an growth” — Odunayo Eweniyi on Abeg’s rebrand to Pocket

On Monday, June 27, 2022, Abeg, a Nigerian social funds startup, introduced that it had been granted approval in precept (AIP) from the Central Financial institution of Nigeria to function as a cell cash operator. Topic to assembly particular regulatory necessities, the startup is anticipated to obtain the license.

Along with the AIP, the corporate introduced that it was altering its title to Pocket by Piggyvest (Pocket). 

In a press release shared with , the startup defined that the brand new title represents the brand new options it supplies on the app and a foray into social commerce. 

“The platform’s new title references its added functionalities for customers to purchase and promote objects through digital pocket retailers and reinforces its push right into a social commerce market estimated to achieve US$23.8 billion by 2028 in Nigeria alone,” it stated. 

Odunayo Eweniyi, Co-founder and COO of mum or dad firm PiggyTech Applied sciences, additionally confirmed this in an interview with

“I wouldn’t say it’s a change; I’ll say it’s an growth of the mission. We expect that the pure subsequent step from paying one another and retailers was integrating commerce. So, for us, it made sense that that would be the subsequent step by way of increasing the app’s scope.” 

Observers of the Nigerian startup scene will recall the excitement round Pocket’s launch. On the time, its worth proposition was the flexibility to ship cash to folks utilizing simply an abeg tag. Shortly after the launch, it was revealed that it might be a sponsor for the fact TV present Large Brother Naija (BBN). 

Its customers quickly grew to 2 million from a number of thousand customers earlier than the BBN sponsorship. Now a full-fledged product, the commonest query for a lot of was its monetisation plan. 

Whereas it had attracted an enormous variety of customers – Eweniyi disclosed that it had 800,000 energetic customers at its peak – it was not but clear the way it may revenue off this development, and the explanation was not far-fetched. 

Nigeria has no scarcity of fee startups, and plenty of customers questioned why they needed to change to yet one more fee app, however following this improvement, it might seem that the corporate lastly has a solution.

Its addition to social commerce signifies that customers can purchase and promote on the platform. Trying on the app would instantly reveal some retailers promoting every little thing from meat to internet design companies. 

That is along with customers with the ability to pay for airtime, TV payments, and save on its mum or dad firm, Piggyvest. With this characteristic, we are able to safely assume that the corporate will earn a charge for transactions on the platform. 

But, it stays to be seen the way it intends to execute this. Wouldn’t it give attention to funds whereas leaving retailers to type out the logistics of delivering the products and companies, or will it deal with it on behalf of the retailers? Whichever route it chooses, one factor is bound; it would face a steep studying curve as nobody appears to have hacked eCommerce in Nigeria.

A digital financial institution on the horizon?

A big change within the firm’s rebrand is the cell cash operator approval in precept that it has gotten from the CBN. 

Ought to it lastly get the license, the corporate can perform features reminiscent of pockets creation and administration, agent recruitment and administration, pool account administration, non-bank buying, card buying, and every other actions that the CBN could allow.

Based on Eweniyi, “the license you have to be a P2P funds firm is a cell cash license, and so we obtained that to fulfil regulatory necessities. Clearly, the added parts of an MMO license are a profit for us. It type of opens up a brand new world by way of social funds as a result of the beauty of cell cash is the flexibility to make funds on-line and offline.”

Though funds appear to be its main focus, she factors out that the cell cash license permits Pocket so as to add extra options as consumer wants evolve. 

For the time being, Piggyvest permits almost 4 million customers to save lots of on its platform and with Pocket, customers can now purchase, promote, pay payments, and purchase airtime. Nevertheless, Eweniyi was coy about the opportunity of all these coalescing right into a digital financial institution sooner or later.

“I’ll simply say by no means say by no means. We now have plans which can unfold within the close to future, so I wouldn’t say no, and I wouldn’t say sure both.”

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