South Africa’s Payment Startup Revio Raises $1.1 Million In Seed Funding

Revio’s CEO Ruaan Botha

South Africa’s Revio, an API and collections company helping African businesses to leverage multiple payment options and manage payment failures, has secured $1.1 million in seed funding. The round was led by Speedinvest and received participation from investors like The Fund, Two Culture Capital, and Ralicap Ventures. According to a statement, angel investors from various payment and revenue recovery experts from companies like Quona Capital, Circle Payments, and Sequoia, also participated. 

Revio was founded in 2020 by Ruaan Botha who has experience working in South Africa’s banking and insurance space for more than 10 years. He launched Revio as a solution to the challenges such as outstanding and failed payments businesses faced while dealing with customers, poised by manual operations. According to him, only a handful of companies had made revenue recovery-related investments. “We have the debit order as the largest recurring payment method in South Africa. But the moment businesses want to start adding other different payment methods to deal with customer demand, it was super hard for them to do so. And it was just because of the disconnect between banks, new fintechs, and payment aggregators which also made it difficult for businesses to collect recurring revenue on an ongoing basis. So with Revio, we wanted to make it super simple for businesses to connect any payment methods that they need, not only in South Africa but the rest of Africa and globally as well,” the founder said.

Ruaan Botha doesn’t run the startup alone. He runs Revio alongside Chief Commercial Officer Pieter Grobbelaar, an ex-executive at Africa’s biggest unicorn Flutterwave; Chief Technology Officer Kyle Titus and Chief Operating Officer Nicole Dunn. 

According to its CEO, Revio aggregates various payment methods across the continent. These methods include card payments, QR codes, bank transfers, debit orders, mobile money, and vouchers. Using payment providers like Paystac, Ozow, Stitch, and Flutterwave, Revio collects and settles payments in over 40 markets. Apart from the aforementioned features, the startup also provides smart payment routing, auto-retires, automated billing processes, real-time analytics, and reporting. 

Revio has more than 50 clients and processes thousands of transactions every month. These clients include large-scale businesses to mid-market corporate and fast-growing scale-up businesses whose operations include recurring revenue businesses and high transaction volumes, such as alternative lenders, telcos, retailers, etc. 

“We’ve also then built out orchestration capability where we can reduce payment failures through things like smart transaction routing, smart retries to make sure a customer doesn’t go into arrears, specifically on recurring payments. And then where we differentiate ourselves is that we serve businesses with recurring revenue instead of the typical e-commerce platforms,” COO Nicole Dunn who claims that Revio has more than 100 clients waiting to come onboard said. 

Revio claims to be the first African payments platform with a focus on payment failures and revenue recovery. “We also have more functionality and coverage in the sub-Saharan African context, Sub Saharan compared to other platforms in the market,” Nicole Dunn added. 

“I’d say the use of the investment is twofold. One is to get access to more strategic skills around machine learning and data to help us grow and drive better engagement with customers, understand why they fail and how to get a better response rate. With the data from that, we can start our experimentation into some of the core markets in Africa. We want to operate in about 13 African countries in the next 18 months, but focusing on three or four large markets. And then, get enough traction that we can take on to other emerging markets like Latin America,” Revio’s founder and CEO said about the investment. 

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