Chioma Okotcha, Uche Nnadi Raises N411.49million to Assist Other Small Businesses
- Nigerian startup, Payhippo, has raised N411.49 million from several investors to financially support individuals and small businesses
- The capital was provided by Ventures Platform, Future Africa, Launch Africa, Sherpa Ventures, DFS Lab and other investors
- Chioma Okotcha, Uche Nnadi and Zach Bijesse founded Payhippo last year with startup funds from family and friends
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Over N411.49 million has been raised by Payhippo, a Nigerian fintech startup established by Chioma Okotcha, Uche Nnadi and Zach Bijesse.
The capital was raised in a pre-seed round which involved investors, Ventures Platform, Future Africa, Launch Africa, Sherpa Ventures, DFS Lab, Hustle Fund and Mercy Corps Ventures.
Payhippo started operation in January 2020, with early startup capital raised from family, friends, some Nigerian angels, and Aidi Ventures, an early-stage backer.
Why they founded Payhippo
Okotcha and Nnadi created Payhippo to provide small loans to individuals or small businesses who have been turned down by commercial banks within Nigeria.
In fifteen months, Payhippo has given out 2,600 loans to those in financial distress or in need of emergency fund.
Okotcha said experience in running her family business made her understand the financing problem faced by Nigerians:
“I helped run my family’s business in Nigeria and I know how tough financing can be for SMEs in Nigeria. That’s why I went to work in microfinance policy. But I saw that there was still such a big need for SMEs in Nigeria and the continent."
What investors are saying
One of the investors, Kola Aina, who is the general partner of Ventures Platform, said Payhippo is planning to bridge the $158 billion financing gap experienced by small and medium enterprises.
In his words, Aina said:
“Small businesses are at the core of Africa’s economic growth and we are thrilled to partner with Zach, Chioma and Uche as they build Payhippo. They are essentially bridging the US$158 billion SME financing gap."
AfDB to provide $50 million to women-owned businesses
In related news, the African Development Bank (AfDB) has announced it will disburse $50 million to Nigerian businesses established by women.
The financial institution intends to lift the negative impact of COVID-19 pandemic on female entrepreneurs, to assist them grow back to post-outbreak era.
AfDB also collaborated with Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa initiative and the Women Entrepreneurship Finance Initiative to award $200,000 Grant's to interested entrepreneurs.