INCUBATE AFRICACrunching the African Tech sapce
May 16, 2022

Nigeria’s OnePipe raises $3.5M to double down on its embedded finance offering

Nigeria’s OnePipe raises $3.5M to double down on its embedded finance offering

OnePipe, a fintech API company with a different play from the lot, joins the list today, raising $3.5 million seed to double down on its embedded finance offering.

African impact-focused VC Atlantica Ventures, a co-lead investor in OnePipe’s $950,000 pre-seed round last year, also co-led this seed round alongside Tribe Capital and V&R Associates.

New investors Canaan Partners, Saison Capital, Norrsken (the fund of Klarna founder Niklas Adalberth), The Fund and Two Culture Cap also participated. Existing investors Chris Adelsbach, Techstars, Ingressive Capital, Acquity, P1, Raba and DFS Lab followed on with new checks, alongside a few angel investors.

There are generally three main fintech API infrastructure plays. One is data and financial accounts aggregation (Plaid, OkraMonoStitch and Pngme are some players in the space).

The second focuses on embedded finance and banking as a service, where Treasury PrimeMarqeta ply their trade. The third is core open banking pioneered by the likes of TrueLayer.

OnePipe’s original game plan was to create an API gateway that connected banks and fintechs under a uniform standard, a move that would allow the company to perform core open banking.

But founder and CEO Ope Adeoye (self-described as the company’s chief plumber), on a call with TechCrunch, said upon continuous integration with these financial institutions, it became clear the company needed to pivot since it wasn’t generating many demand cycles.

And having struck partnerships with a few banks, OnePipe decided to take a step back and delve into the world of embedded finance.

Unlike open banking and data aggregation plays where a company needs to collaborate with almost every bank in the country where they operate, it’s not necessarily the case with companies offering embedded finance. That’s why OnePipe has six partner banks at the moment.

Though OnePipe is currently only present in Nigeria, it is making its first move beyond the country’s shores to align with Szigetvari’s statement.

OnePipe is going through a strategic partnership route as Adeoye mentioned that his company made a deal with African logistics and freight company Sendy to expand into other African countries. Per the company’s statement, the plan is to “pull a Stripe-Shopify-esque tag team.”

“We made sure that before we looked into other African countries, we were going in with a customer on the ground already,” said the CEO. “We did a deal with Sendy that made them participate in this round, and we will then deploy the capital for expansion. So as they go to Egypt, South Africa, we’ll be deploying with them and grow together.”

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