Pivo, the Nigerian fintech that offered banking services to small supply chain businesses, is shutting down one year after raising a $2 million seed round.
Pivo, the Nigerian fintech startup that raised more than $2.6 million from Y Combinator, Ventures Platform, Mercy Corp Ventures, and over 15 other investors, is shutting down. One person with direct knowledge of the business confirmed the closure to TechCabal but did not provide further details.
“I cannot provide the specifics at this time but will be happy to do so later,” Amadi-Emina, the company’s cofounder and CEO, told TechCabal via WhatsApp.
Founded by Nkiru Amadi-Emina (CEO) and Ijeoma Akwiwu (COO) in July 2021, the startup offered banking services to small logistics and haulage businesses in Nigeria’s supply chain sector.
Pivo raised a $100,000 pre-seed round from investors like Microtraction, FirstCheck Africa, and Rally Cap Ventures two months after its launch. It later raised a $2 million seed round in November 2022; at the time, Amadi-Emina told TechCabal that the funds would be used to expand to East Africa and launch new products around payments, a major pain point for supply chain SMEs.
Amadi-Emina and Akwiwu both had significant experience in the logistics sector before founding Pivo. Amadi-Emina founded Jalo, an on-demand delivery company acquired by Kobo360 in August 2018. When she and Akwiwu started Pivo, they had no competition in the supply chain sector.
Pivo’s market approach
Pivo wanted to solve the liquidity problem in Africa’s supply chain by providing financing options for supply chain businesses like logistics service providers, clearing and forwarding businesses, and FMCG distributors. Supply chain financing in Africa was estimated to be worth $41 billion last year.
The startup had two fintech verticals: Pivo Capital, a lending product, and Pivo Business, a business banking product. The company claimed to have disbursed more than $3 million in loans a year after its launch through Pivo Capital and processed more than $4 million through Pivo Business.
The startup provided credit to these businesses, which need to obtain funds from lenders to finance a transaction before being paid by buyers, only after validating with prospective buyers that the deals were legit. The startup said this approach allowed it to record a 98% repayment rate.
Pivo’s shutdown is the latest in a line of African startups that have shut down this year for various reasons. Over a dozen African startups have shut down this year as the economic downturn and a rising funding gap continue to create a difficult environment for African startups.
This is a developing story.