NIGERIA – Lemonade Finance, a Y Combinator-backed Nigerian fintech startup, has announced a US$725,000 pre-seed funding raise.

The funding round had participation from the American startup accelerator, YCombinator, and Venture Capital firms, Microtraction, Ventures Platform, and Acuity Venture Partners. The round was also backed by involvement from several other individual investors.

According to the Co-founder, Ridwan Olalere told Technext the new fund will enable the team to improve its bench, strengthen the app’s features as well as increase the countries of coverage.

Lemonade was launched last year when former Opay staff, Rian Cochran and Ridwan Olalere while working on a project, identified the need to solve the payment problem that many Africans in the diaspora face.

The fintech product they came up with is helping Africans send and receive money from their home countries in efficient, affordable, and fast ways.

The startup’s co-founders, Ridwan Olalere and Rian Cochran say that this flexibility is intentional and has been at the core of the team’s thinking in building the app.

“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,” said Olalere.

“It also makes it difficult for many Africans abroad, who own businesses, to keep those ventures running. The Lemonade app solves all that, with great rates and instant transfers across borders; it’s a game-changer for the African diaspora.”

Dayo Koleowo, managing partner at Microtraction, said Lemonade’s solution was 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 one cross-border neobank for Africans in diaspora,” he said.

Kayode Oyewole, a partner at Ventures Platform, said his firm was excited to back Lemonade, which has built a “compelling financial product to serve the more than 100 million African 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,” he said.

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