Fintech startup Lemonade Finance has raised pre-seed funding of $725,000. The startup saw participation from Microtraction, Ventures Platform and Acuity Venture Partners, as well as America’s biggest startup accelerator Y Combinator. The round also saw the participation of individual investors.
Like many other fintech startups, Lemonade creates a platform for Africans to perform seamless and convenient cross-border payments. The newly-raised fund, according to Lemonade Finance’s CEO- Ridwan Olalere, will give the company the ability to improve its services as well as provide new services, revamp its app and be able to go ahead with plans of expansion. The company was one of the nine Africa startups that participated in Y Combinator’s Summer 2021 program in June this year. The company’s services are currently live in Canada. The company has plans of launching in the UK but its Ghana expansion is more likely to happen sooner.
Lemonade finance came into existence while Rian Cochran and Ridwan Olalere, who once worked with Opay, were working together on a project. With Lemonade, they want to solve the problems associated with sending money faced by Africans. With their product, which was launched last year, they are helping Africans to send and receive money comfortably, conveniently, as well as seamlessly.
Lemonade Finance is operating in a thriving space filled with an unending number of competitors. Explaining how the company plans to survive and be at the frontline in an industry crowded by already established names, the company’s CEO, Ridwan Olalere, said that “the existing remittance options, some of which are led by big players, are not nimble enough. For instance, many Africans abroad own businesses back home and need to hold money in two currencies. They also need to move such funds quickly, sometimes for needs and purposes that are urgent”.
He also added that “a Nigerian user of Lemonade in the U.K can hold the Pound Sterling and the Nigerian Naira, easily converting one to the other. Users can also transfer the money back and forth from Nigeria without needing to wait days”.
This, therefore, means that the company plans to take over this space by providing flexibility. In fact, flexibility is the foundation on which the startup’s services are built.
“Before Lemonade, international money transfers that should take minutes took days. Those are hours of stress and anxiety for you and your family while your money is stuck in transit. It also makes it difficult for many Africans abroad, who own businesses, to keep those ventures running. We are solving that with great rates and instant transfers across borders. It is a game-changer for the African diaspora”, the company’s CEO further explained.
The company’s investors had so many good things to say about the startup. Kayode Oyewole from Ventures Platform said that “We are excited to back Ridwan, Rian and the Lemonade team, who have built a compelling financial product to serve the more than 100 million Africans in the diaspora, who today have limited access to great financial products. The founders are rockstars with deep experience building and scaling products to reach millions of users”.
According to Dayo Koleowo, Managing Partner at Microtraction, “Lemonade’s solution is very timely. As a multi-currency financial service provider, they make it easy for the African diaspora to send and receive money from their new country of residence, which is remarkable. We believe Rian and Ridwan have the technical and financial know-how to provide the number 1 cross-border neo-bank for Africans in the diaspora”.