How this Nigerian firm went from a chatbot to a $150 million company

Abu Mubarik May 09, 2023
Nomba. Photo credit: TechCrunch

Nomba is a Nigerian fintech company that started as an AI chatbot in 2017. It went live as Kudi.AI, a chatbot that helped people process online payments. Today the company has grown to a VC-backed company with a $150 million valuation, according to TechCabal.

The company recently raised $30 million in a pre-Series B investment to support the delivery of bespoke payment solutions for African businesses, according to TechCrunch. The funding round, which was led by San Francisco-based Base, catapulted the value of the company to $150 million.

The round also saw participation from Partech and Khosla Ventures, who previously participated in Nomba’s Series A round in 2019. New backers include Helios Digital Ventures and Shopify.

The company wants to use the funding to build custom solutions for different businesses. “Restaurants will be able to access menus, manage inventory, receive payments, and perform other business functions all from the same hardware,” the firm stated.

Nomba was founded by Adeyinka Adewale and Pelumi Aboluwarin. The firm started as a chatbot because not everyone was tech-savvy enough to download fintech apps to make online transactions.

“We launched in the first week of 2017, and at the time, because a lot of big tech companies were launching natural language processing engines, it was a good time to build an assistant to walk the everyday person through online payments,” CEO Adewale told Techcabal.

The duo grew Kudi, which was a simple cash-in, cash-out, and payment and collection POS system, to Nomba, an omnichannel platform with a range of business and management tools for different types of businesses. The company has fintech clients like Moniepoint, OPay, and FairMoney, via its acquisition of CrowdForce, according to Techcrunch.

“Our core focus has been figuring out how to help small businesses essentially scale. A lot of that is hinged on what kind of software tools we provide which could potentially reduce their cost of operation and provide better visibility to their business,” Adewale said.

Nomba serves three business segments – they are agents and unit merchants that run retail businesses with a turnover of usually under $100,000 in year transaction revenues; the second segment is medium-sized businesses with roughly $100,000 to a million dollars in yearly transaction revenues; the last is enterprise customers whose transaction revenues are over $1 million.

The company processes $1 billion in monthly transactions and also has over 300,000 businesses from the business segments it serves using at least one Nomba-powered product.

Last Edited by:Annie-Flora Mills Updated: May 9, 2023

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