Nigeria fintech SeerBit digitizing commerce funds for Africa’s casual merchants [Q&A]

SeerBit, a pan-African fintech platform allows quick, seamless, inclusive, and safe funds focusing on small and medium-sized companies. 

Tech in Africa spoke to the CEO Omoniyi Kolade on SeerBit’s journey to this point, what we are able to anticipate from them sooner or later, and why fintech commerce options are important for Africa.

What does 2021 seem like for you when it comes to traction?

We’ve grown 12 to 16% month on month since we launched. But, I consider we have now not even began. We’re solely nonetheless experimenting and finding out the alternatives available in the market. Money is our largest competitors in the intervening time on the continent, and once we contemplate our development in that mild, we see a large room for traction that solely our creativity limits. 

What do you are feeling are SeerBit’s largest successes, and what can we anticipate from the startup in 2021-2022?

Our most appreciable success is growth into new markets in such a short while and the pace with which we have now been capable of adapt. Moreover, we’re completely happy to have rolled out our new options and options focused at small and medium companies, each on-line and offline, to assist them clear up a number of the largest monetary challenges hindering their development. We provide a funds ecosystem that we consider can accomplish that a lot, so our purpose is to harness that to assist as many companies as potential develop.

What do you see as the important thing challenges and alternatives forward for SeerBit within the quick time period?

A key short-term problem for us is shortly understanding markets sufficient to adapt our options to cater to their most vital wants. And while doing that, nonetheless staying true to our purpose of bridging gaps and eradicating frictions in fee for commerce. For instance, how can we embody cellular cash choices for retailers in markets the place cellular cash is a giant deal? How can we make the expertise seamless for customers in these new markets, acknowledging the totally different behaviors and cultures?

It is not uncommon for firms to go down a rabbit gap attempting to unravel explicit issues and neglect their mission. For instance, we may discover that USSD is standard in a particular market and deal with integrating USSD, ignoring rising smartphone utilization and its alternatives for funds. Nonetheless, since our mission is to take away frictions and obstacles, the topline purpose stays ‘easy accessibility and utilization of funds for commerce’, and we make it a degree by no means to neglect that.

A key alternative is offline SMEs in Africa which makes up not less than 90% of the market. As we construct out our fee options, in the end, SeerBit’s purpose is to assist tens of millions of those offline companies entry the effectivity of digital, notably in funds and finance.

What’s the position of fintech in enabling retailers on their digital journey and rising e-commerce?

I believe fintech is the last word basis for eCommerce, contemplating it gives the fee infrastructure upon which eCommerce thrives. Nonetheless, there’s nonetheless a large alternative for fintech in enabling retailers on their digital journey. For instance, credit score entry continues to be a major ache level for SMEs all around the continent, and it’s now extra pressing than ever for fintech to plug that hole. A number of options have already emerged, however there must be extra, and these options must be scalable to the tens of millions of retailers working off the web.

We additionally want easy accounting instruments for SMEs embedded into fintech options. Companies can not obtain their potential with out correct data, and our expertise is that many SMEs do not need sufficient monetary training or consciousness to maintain these data correctly. Fintech may help handle this. 

Moreover, whereas constructing fintech options for retailers on the continent, it will be significant that entrepreneurs and innovators take the time to perceive the various kinds of retailers (on-line and offline) and their particular person behaviors and preferences, with the intention to develop merchandise that actually serve them.

So, a giant position of fintech in enabling retailers on their journey to develop eCommerce is constructing options that actually perceive the retailers’ behavioral patterns and enterprise wants.

What’s your view is or would be the affect of protectionism on monetary providers, and probably, the alternatives for cross-border suppliers? Are we seeing cases of such protectionism in markets you use?

Fintech options and digital gamers are eager to allow cross-border funds and facilitate commerce throughout the continent. Nonetheless, the most important problem has been regulation. Most nations have legal guidelines that hamper the free circulate of capital throughout nations in Africa. So certainly one of our largest priorities at SeerBit is smoothening cross-border transactions- how will you transact enterprise in Ghana whereas resident in Kenya or South Africa simply? 

For this reason we’re all excited concerning the AfCFTA- the entire level of the continental commerce settlement is to take away/cut back protectionism. The hope now’s that the execution of the settlement shall be seamless and fruitful to assist us obtain the dream of easy commerce throughout borders in Africa. 

The place do you envision SeerBit sooner or later?

We’re presently centered on development and delivering our mission to take away frictions and obstacles in funds for commerce in Africa. It might lead us to fundraise important quantities sooner or later. Nonetheless, we’re presently centered on scaling as we should always and addressing the options for our prospects.

Featured picture: CEO Niyi Kolade (Equipped)

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