NIGERIA – Duplo, a B2B payment platform that digitises payment processes, has acquired US$4.3 million in seed capital to launch new products and grow into new industry sectors.

Liquid2 Ventures, Soma Capital, Tribe Capital, Commerce Ventures, Basecamp Fund, and Y Combinator were among the investors in the seed round. Oui Capital also re-invested after previously investing in the round.

With this fresh funding, the firm plans to improve its existing products, develop new products such as cross-border payments, and expand into other sectors.

Since its inception, the firm has gained significant traction. According to Yele Oyekola, cofounder and CEO of Duplo, the company’s monthly payment volume has climbed by 4,000% since its $1.3 million pre-seed earlier this year, and its client base has increased by over 1,000% in the last three months.

“The Duplo team has built an incredible suite of products that improves how businesses make and receive payments from each other, and the growth that the company has experienced since our initial pre-seed investment in 2021 has been nothing short of impressive,” Peter Oriaifo, Principal at Oui Capital, said. 

“It is for this reason that we are excited to back Duplo once more.”

Oyekola, the startup’s co-founder, is also a serial entrepreneur. Oyekola had previously worked at Carbon, where he helped create the first iterations of Carbon Zero, a buy-now-pay-later product.

He also co-founded Julla, an East African buy-now-pay-later product. Although Julla failed after a year, Oyekola said the skills he acquired were critical in helping him co-found Duplo.

The business was also a part of the Winter 22 batch at Y Combinator.

FMCG distributors may add merchants to the Duplo platform, which was founded in 2021 by Yele Oyekola and Tunde Akinnuwa, making it easier for them to take payments online and obtain real-time business performance statistics.

 They may also use the platform to automate payments to vendors, manufacturers, and suppliers, and they can trade in bigger numbers with immediate payments.

Duplo’s all-in-one solution also automates the process of issuing and processing invoices, receiving and approving bills, collecting and disbursing payments, and completing account reconciliation for finance departments.

It mostly works in the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) sector, but Oyekola believes the firm could diversify into other areas such as construction, telecommunications, and healthcare.

According to Oyekola, he noticed the need for Duplo when his grandmother experienced fraud and theft for years as a Nestle distributor in Osun State, Nigeria.

Duplo has been assisting FMCG distributors, mid-sized finance teams, and corporate organisations in digitising and simplifying the way money travels between them and their business partners since January 2022.

“We strongly believe that there is a great opportunity to catalyse growth and maximise business opportunities across the continent by removing the bottlenecks that hinder the seamless flow of money between businesses, and we are excited to have raised funding from this exciting group of investors to deliver this much-needed transformation,” Oyekola noted.

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