NIGERIA – Flex Finance, a mobile ecosystem that helps MSMEs and solo entrepreneurs better manage and track their daily business spending and finances, has raised a six-figure pre-seed fundraising round to support its growth in Nigeria.

Gumroad CEO Sahil Lavingia, LoftyInc Capital Management, Berrywood Capital, Paradox Capital, Kairos Angels, Brett Kopf, Julian Shapiro, Maneesh Arora, and others recently invested in the startup in a six-figure pre-seed round.

Accion Venture Lab, The MasterCard Foundation, and Catalyst Fund previously contributed US$200,000 in undiluted funding to Flex.

Flex is a mobile platform that allows organizations to digitize their day-to-day operations. The program has an easy-to-use user interface and requires little to no financial knowledge to utilize. The company’s mission, which began in September 2019, is to assist MSMEs in becoming smarter and more lucrative.

“The goal is to free business owners and finance teams in Africa from the stress of spend management, because we believe that making this crucial aspect of business delightfully simple, can save businesses lots of money and time, inadvertently helping them grow and succeed thereby increasing their creditworthiness,” said Yemi Olulana, the startup’s CEO.

Flex’s automatic spend management technology went live in March and has now onboarded hundreds of companies. On a monthly basis, it processes millions of dollars in spending.

“This funding received has so far helped to expand the company’s manpower, scale operations and will help with the launch of our new product offerings like virtual cards,” Yemi added.

Within a few short months of launching, Flex Finance already counts over 1,000 SMEs on their platform. The market potential in Nigeria and across the region is staggering: SMEs make up 96% of all businesses in Nigeria and account for 84% of employment.

Numbers are similar throughout Sub-Saharan Africa. In India, a similar tool, Khatabook, raised $60 million after onboarding over 8 million merchants in less than two years.

SMEs are also likely to be among the businesses that rebound most quickly in times of crisis, given their lack of debt, low operating costs, and flexibility.

As they do so, these businesses will be in desperate need of digital tools and access to finance, as they restock, reassess finances and payment options, rebuild connections with customers and build new sourcing relationships.

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