Nigerian fintech startup ImaliPay has closed $3 million seed funding round to bring financial services to gig workers. Founded in late 2020 in Nigeria, the company’s services allow eRide hailing drivers and gig workers to get access to working capital, which was ascertained to be a larger problem with gig workers not having bank access and being neglected by the banks in general.
The service offers financial services as a “one-stop-shop” for a single channel, including an application programming interface (API) for gig workers and platforms, letting them power their gigs with services like buy now, pay later (BNPL), insurance and savings.
The African gig economy is likely to have over 80 million workers by 2030, the report noted. ImaliPay ran a pilot in Nigeria which found out that motorcycle taxi riders on Safeboda were interested in the services, even when they had existing accounts with several Nigerian banks. According to the report, the ImaliPay platform has “filled a gap” and allowed for more gig workers to improve their finances.
“Our drive to start and keep ImaliPay soaring is firmly rooted in the impact we would like to make in fostering financial security in the gig economy, serving the underbanked and walking them through a tailored journey of financial inclusion,” said ImaliPay co-founder and CEO Tatenda Furusa. “Having strong partners and investors around the table is a show of good faith that we are building key services for the future of work.”
James Allum, senior vice president and regional head of Europe at Payoneer, said there’s a “ripple effect” that comes with many local events due to the global economy and the way everything is affected by various events.
Payoneer and other digital firms can step in and help to solve the problems, the report said. For instance, commerce tech providers can be “change agents” and shift the ways people get their funds and services, adding new efficiencies.