Earnipay, a fintech solution that provides flexible and on-demand salary access to income earners, has closed a seed round of $4 million. The round was led by Canaan, with participation from XYZ Ventures, Village Global, Musha Ventures, Ventures Platform, Voltron Capital, and Paystack CEO Shola Akinlade. 

Founded by Nonso Onwuzulike, who is the company’s CEO, Earnipay sets out to improve the financial well-being of employees by partnering with employers to seamlessly integrate their payroll systems with the fintech’s technology. This way, employees can track and withdraw their accrued salaries via the app on any day of the month. At the end of the month, the employer deducts from the employee’s salary the amount withdrawn, refunds Earnipay with it, then pays the employee the balance as their salary for that month.

Earnipay charges employees a small processing fee of ₦250 or ₦500 for this access. There is no payback and no interest charge because employees are accessing what they have worked for, their own money, as opposed to a loan. 

Employers can sign up to Earnipay via the web platform to gain access to the employer dashboard and add their employees in a simple process.

With the seed funding, Earnipay will accelerate the development of its technology platform to serve large-enterprise employers. The company plans to offer its on-demand salary solution to 200,000 employees by the end of 2022. 

Speaking on the funding round and the recent launch of Earnipay, Onwuzulike, says, “Financial worries are the leading cause of distractions in the workplace. The monthly pay cycle means employees are often unable to afford daily expenses, cover emergencies, or take advantage of immediate financial opportunities. As a result, they become exposed to predatory payday loans and get stuck in unending debt cycles with unrealistic payback periods and expensive interest rates. Earnipay exists to address this problem and offer an ethical alternative to instant salary access while helping employers improve employee engagement and retention, at zero cost to their business.” 

Onwuzulike believes that the future of the salary is “on-demand” and that Earnipay is poised to be at the forefront of this revolution within the African workforce. 

On-demand salary access is a huge opportunity in Africa. With over 70% of Africa’s workforce, i.e. 500 million people, paid every 30 days and living from paycheck to paycheck, 40% of the workforce are trapped in an unending debt cycle as they struggle to match their income to their daily expenses, emergencies, and opportunities. 

Earnipay officially launched its operations in January 2022, having been in development and beta testing since September 2021. Since operating in beta, Earnipay has served over 20 businesses, outsourcing firms, and HR solution providers in Nigeria, including Eden Life and Thrive Agric, whose employees have used the app to access their salary over 1,000 times—indicating a strong demand for the solution. 

“We’ve seen earned wage access grow rapidly in many markets and believe it’s a natural fit in Africa,” said Brendan Dickinson, partner at Canaan. “Earnipay has quickly established itself with a product built specifically for the payroll behaviours of this region, and early employer uptake is very strong. We’re thrilled for the opportunity to partner with them.”

Kelechi Njoku Senior Editor, TechCabal

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