Why Uzoma Dozie’s Sparkle had solely Nigerian buyers in $3.1m funding spherical

Sparkle, a mobile-based digital financial institution that gives a mixture of economic, life-style, and enterprise assist providers to Nigerians, on Thursday, introduced a $3.1 million seed fundraise from totally Nigerian buyers.

The spherical, which was oversubscribed in accordance with a press release from the corporate, was led by Leadway Assurance with the participation of Trium Networks and plenty of undisclosed high-net-worth people (HNWIs) within the nation.

The most recent funding brings Sparkle’s complete funding secured to $5.1 million, having beforehand raised $2 million in pre-seed from family and friends. 

Sparkle plans to make use of the brand new funding to scale its expertise groups throughout engineering, monetary threat, and advertising departments in addition to put money into its automated back-end processes and digital infrastructure, it stated.

“I’m delighted to be collaborating with a bunch of extremely revered Nigerian companies, funding corporations, and captains of business,” stated Sparkle founder Uzoma Dozie, who’s an ex-CEO of the defunct Diamond Financial institution. “All of them perceive the actual want for a digital-first platform similar to Sparkle.”

Get one of the best African tech newsletters in your inbox

It’s not frequent within the Nigerian tech ecosystem {that a} funding spherical of such worth includes solely native buyers. The vast majority of the funding for startups within the nation and throughout Africa comes from international buyers and in some instances, each native and international VCs put money into the identical enterprise.

In keeping with Dozie, the Sparkle group was “very deliberate” about having an all-Nigerian spherical because it all the time felt that having a choice of strategic native buyers could be useful to the startup’s development.

“Nigerians know Nigerians—their banking and spending habits, quirks, challenges—each as shoppers and companies. We wished to verify our buyers actually understood the market earlier than committing to this spherical,” he advised TechCabal.

Requested if his background within the monetary providers business performed a task within the profitable fundraising effort, Dozie admitted his familiarity with native financiers and high-net-worth Nigerians helped persuade them to guess their cash on Sparkle.

“I believe that helped, sure. I’m used to chatting with financiers and know the language and the important thing triggers to galvanise them into motion. And they’re used to me shouting loud and arduous, through the years, about leveraging digital and expertise to scale monetary providers for Nigeria,” he stated.

Dozie provides that he will likely be “leaning on sector experience and perception” of the brand new buyers to construct long-lasting partnerships as Sparkle scales and predicted an enchancment within the participation of HNWIs in Nigeria’s tech and enterprise capital area within the close to future.

“I believe the pattern will change because the market alternatives turn into extra apparent to them, and higher connections and networks are cast between tech entrepreneurs and HNWIs in Nigeria,” he stated. “We need to see obstacles to entry damaged down, which is essential, however HNWIs additionally must really feel comfy in investing in new sectors that they might not be so acquainted with.”

Uzoma Dozie has one thing to show as a first-time startup founder

In Nigeria, neobanks are identified to supply cheaper and extra personalised banking via numerous fashions. Sparkle stands out within the sense that it is likely one of the few that gives a mixture of particular person and enterprise banking providers through a single platform.

Whereas people can use options similar to financial savings, invoice funds, cash transfers, and different primary providers, Sparkle Enterprise, launched in April this 12 months, gives MSMEs and SMEs capabilities that embrace stock and bill administration, a cost gateway service, tax advisory, and worker administration.

The startup has partnerships with Visa, Community Worldwide, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Nigeria that assist energy its choices, and it has additionally secured a microfinance financial institution licence from the Central Financial institution of Nigeria (CBN).

Per TechCrunch, Sparkle has signed on over 40,000 particular person banking clients and a couple of,000 companies since its launch. It plans to proceed specializing in connecting Nigerians and the worldwide Nigerian diaspora, in accordance with Dozie.

“Nigeria has an enormous youth inhabitants who more and more dwell, work and play past bodily borders—we construct with them in thoughts,” Dozie stated. “Whether or not we’re constructing providers for people or companies, we’re absolutely centered on making a linked tribe of Sparklers.”

***The article was up to date with responses from Uzoma Dozie on the connection between his background and the Sparkle fundraise within the ninth and tenth paragraphs.

When you loved studying this text, please share it in your WhatsApp teams and Telegram channels.


Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.