Brass, a Nigerian digital bank that enables small and medium-sized enterprises to get access to affordable upscale banking services, announced that it has raised $1.7 million in funding. Ventures Platform led the round with participation from Hustle Fund, Acuity Ventures, Uncovered Fund, Olugbenga Agboola and Ezra Olubi —the Co-founders of Flutterwave and Paystack respectively.
Asides from funding, access to complete banking solutions services remains a major challenge faced by small and medium-sized enterprises in Africa —a problem that Brass is providing solutions to. Established in July 2020 by Sola Akindolu and Emmanuel Okeke, Brass provides small and medium-sized businesses with loaded banking services allowing them to gain greater understanding and control over their money operations, as well as the ability to scale their businesses. The platform offers a full suite of solutions designed to meet a wide range of business banking needs, including credit and payment services, payroll and expense management, and API support.
Brass claims to have disbursed over $2 million in credit to thousands of businesses to date and has recently launched Brass Capital —a cash-flow funding solution to help even more businesses. It has over 5,000 customers ranging from schools and malls to fintechs such as Send.ng, Eden and Mono, which utilize all their banking solutions to scale operations in their businesses.
Talking on the fundraise, Sola Akindolu, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Brass, said: “At Brass, we’ve made some great strides over the last year in tackling one of Africa’s most critically underserved customer bases but with an estimated $5.1tn credit gap globally, our work is far from over. This is why we’re delighted to welcome on board a number of vastly experienced and strategic investors, whose expertise will not only play a vital role ahead of our expansion into South Africa and Kenya but also in our future ambitions outside of the continent.”
Kola Aina, Founder and General Partner at Ventures Platform said that their investment was compelled by Brass’s mission to make banking work for small businesses. General partner at Hustle Fund, Elizabeth Yin said her company was excited to back Brass and commended the company for being at the forefront of supporting local businesses and professionals with banking technology to supercharge their growth.
Also commenting on the investment, Lexi Novitske, Managing Partner at Acuity Ventures, said: “The real market opportunity in digital banking in Africa is enabling small businesses. These businesses are looking for tools to responsibly scale, and with a Brass partnership they’re able to grow alongside a committed partner for the long term.”
According to Brass Chief Executive, the new capital will be channelled to expedite the company’s expansion into South Africa and Kenya, and to pull this off, Brass has partnered with a pan-African digital payments giant, Flutterwave. Brass also plans to launch a host of new product categories, including an expansion of the startup’s credit market presence as it seeks to broaden its customer base.