Lagos based Nigerian bank API start-up OnePipe has successfully raised $950k in pre-seed funding, According to the startup’s founder and CEO, Ope Adeoye, the round was led by the team at US seed-stage accelerator, Techstars, and African impact-focused VC fund, Atlantica Ventures.
Several institutional investors like Future Perfect Ventures, Raba Capital, P1 Ventures, Ingressive Capital, Sherpa Ventures Africa, Zedcrest Capital, DFS Lab also participated.
Angel investors weren’t left out as Chris Adelsbach (who also invested in Kuda), Idris Ayo Bello; Jim Chu; Haresh Aswani; Vishal Agarwal; and Folabi Esan; among others. Aniko Szigetvari and Ik Kanu, Founding Partners of Atlantica Ventures; and Charles Ifedi, Co-founder of Pan-African payments giant, Interswitch are now part of the startup’s advisory council.
Also on the council are Jenny Fielding, Managing Director of Techstars; and Raj Kulasingam, an Indian business angel “With this shot in the arm, we are now prepped to chase down some of the opportunities that we feel would have been further along in our journey. The vote of confidence inspires us and now we want to double down”- Ope Adeoye.
How OnePipe came into being
Adeoye was a senior software engineer at Interswitch for two years before he left the company to join telco, Zain Nigeria.
In what he describes as his second coming, the following year Adeoye rejoined Interswitch where he functioned in different critical roles.
It was during this time he was involved in the creation of Quickteller’s product line before he handed it over. After a successful career and spending 11 years at Interswitch Nigeria, Adeoye launched 2i Labs in 2018. As a startup studio, this idea didn’t last up to a year before it died, Instead what survived was OnePipe, one of the ideas the team had incubated.
OnePipe was created to make it easier for Fintechs to partner with banks, larger corporates, and agent networks, Adeoye, and his team started OnePipe in November 2018.
The open banking movement and its mission to improve the adoption of financial services in the world played perfectly into what Adeoye and his team were trying to do with OnePipe.“The world needs a new type of financial services ecosystem. One where everyone has a role to play, and everyone has some value to capture” -Adeoye.
The three Principles behind OnePipe
- To Offer customers the same service (e.g. payments) from multiple partners
- To Have a unified API interface containing all capabilities available across all of partners
- To Switch between partners without changing integrations.
Banks can now offer to businesses a set of unique payment solutions, such that businesses that need to process payments from bank accounts and other methods, can connect to a single source that consolidates APIs from an array of banks and payment providers under a common standard without worrying about multiple integrations or long negotiation times.
Also Imagine this…
That the primarily underbanked population of Nigeria are provided with banking services that make it easier for them to generate a digital trail that empowers lenders like Migo to provide them with credit, which in turn generates an even broader digital trail that fuels even more credit… A lot can happen when everyone opens up….. he says.
Journey to Pre-seed Funding
In July 2020, OnePipe joined US seed-stage accelerator, Techstars, alongside nine other startups. And since launching two years ago, OnePipe has garnered the support and partnerships of banks and businesses like Polaris Bank, SunTrust Bank, Fidelity Bank, Providus Bank, Migo, Flutterwave, Paystack, and Quickteller to name a few. We learnt seven more banks will be onboarded soon.
Adeoye says the startup will use its investment to move aggressively to drive its banking-as-a-service play where non-financial institutions can help its partner banks promote their banking services to the grassroots.
How OnePipe makes money
On how the startup makes money, these partner banks and other institutions that publish APIs on the network charge a fee to clients, and then OnePipe takes a cut.
“Collaboration is how we can expand this financial service market even further. Collaboration is how we all win.” Ope Adeoye.
Photo credit: OnePipe.io