VC firm, Microtraction, has announced an investment in Pivo, a startup that provides credit-focused financial services for SME players in the supply chain.
This investment comes months after the company announced an investment in Honeycoin, its last investment for the year 2021.
Microtraction, whose long-term mission is to accelerate Africa’s transition to a sustainable and developed economy, did not disclose how much it invested in Pivo but said it is “excited to be on this journey with Pivo as they work hard to bridge Africa’s supply chain financing gap.”
Previously, small and medium-sized business owners in the supply chain industry have struggled to acquire the financing and tailored services they need to fund their contracts and drive demand. This is a challenge Pivo hopes to solve.
Legacy financial institutions that provide corporate banking solutions often need high-value collateral and might take up to 5–7 working days to convey loan decisions.
Pivo, on the other hand, is upending traditional banking by providing a new and more efficient method for suppliers throughout the continent to access financial services.
The company’s primary product, Pivo Capital, allows businesses to get working capital loans of up to $50,000 to help them grow.
Pivo Capital also relies on trade finance which enables suppliers to fulfil client orders even if they lack the necessary upfront funds. Its cycle is 40–60 days, whereas working capital loans have a 31-day term.
The company maintains that its primary purpose is to provide an end-to-end financial operating system for these logistic companies.
As it expands, Pivo wants to implement a multi-product approach that will allow it to handle the whole financing lifecycle of its clients’ transactions.
It plans to debut its finance product in beta by the end of Q1 2022. Users on Pivo will be able to establish and manage a corporate bank account that is personalized for their specific business using this functionality.
A team of financial enthusiasts
The company, co-founded by Nkiru Amadi-Emina and Ijeoma Akwiwu, was born out of a need to solve financial gap problems close friends and family had experienced.
Co-founders of Pivo, Nkiru Amadi-Emina and Ijeoma Akwiwu)
Both founders are technical and have industry knowledge. Nkiru and Ijeoma are doubling down on a niche market’s financial service demands, and they’ve mastered a near-risk-free process that insures a 30 to 45-day turnaround cycle.
According to the company, customers may apply for loans and receive a decision within 24 hours once all the needed evidence has been submitted and confirmed.
These processes ensure that it seamlessly bypasses the stumbling blocks that traditional banks impose, such as lengthy forms, setup fees, and minimum balances.
Users may supply information about their business with a few clicks on the Pivo Dashboard and be up and running in 5 minutes or less.
Pivo’s credit operations follow a Supply Chain Finance strategy, with each loan related to a transaction.
In many circumstances, a verified Pro-forma invoice or alternative will be enough for the Pivo customer to establish proof of the business connection for which they want money.
Pivo’s progress so far
Pivo initially onboarded 100 active customers and processed over $100K in loan applications. These figures have since doubled, with logistics subcontractors receiving more than 70% of all loans disbursed.
According to the company, its solution might become a different asset class for HNIs wishing to diversify their investment portfolio.
Pivo concentrates on a B2B strategy, and financiers can engage directly with individual users, covering the financial needs of suppliers from beginning to end.
As a result of the team’s strategy, suppliers and contractors now have access to relevant service offerings, which eliminates a reoccurring issue.
Complementary services like insurance and regulatory compliance advice would also help to reduce the chances of cargo being lost in transit.