Sola Akindolu and Emmanuel Okeke founded Brass in July 2020. Before Brass, CEO Akindolu was the head of product at YC-backed Kudi, while CTO Okeke was an engineering manager at Stripe subsidiary Paystack.
Akindolu’s work at Kudi opened his eyes to the problems small and medium businesses face in Nigeria. He explained that he found out how hard it was for these businesses to have seamless financial operations and cash-flow support services integral to tracking vendor payments, money movement and overall business health.
But why start Brass when there are existing products in the Nigerian market that SMEs and entrepreneurs can use? Sparkle, for instance, offers both personal and business banking services (with more priority on the latter). Consumer neobanks Carbon and Kuda are in varying stages of offering business features to SMEs. Prospa, a YC-backed company that doesn’t like to think of itself as a neobank, also provides software and banking services to microbusinesses and freelancers.
Akindolu believes that while these products have their entry points into the SME market, they do not capture the entire banking needs of businesses like Brass.
Previous backers include Olumide Soyombo of Voltron Capital, Leonard Stiegler and Fola Olatunji-David.
“We are excited to back Sola and the Brass team, who are providing critical financial technology to Africa’s businesses, starting with Nigeria’s approximately 41.5 million businesses,” said Elizabeth Yin, the general partner at Hustle Fund.
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