Cleva raises USD 1.5 million in pre-seed funding

Monday 8 January 2024 14:40 CET | News

Nigeria-based fintech Cleva has announced that it raised USD 1.5 million in pre-seed funding, with the round being led by 1984 Ventures.

In addition to 1984 Ventures, an early-stage venture capital firm based in the US, the funding round included The Raba Partnership, Byld Ventures, FirstCheck Africa, and other angel investors. Cleva focuses on developing a banking platform for African individuals and businesses that allows them to receive international payments by opening USD accounts.

Nigeria-based fintech Cleva has announced that it raised USD 1.5 million in pre-seed funding, with the round being led by 1984 Ventures.

Cleva’s objectives and solutions

Representatives from 1984 Ventures expressed their support towards Cleva by underlining that the company’s product enables Africans to manage hyperinflation difficulties, thus providing a significant opportunity. In addition to the aforementioned participants, Y Combinator also contributed to the pre-seed round, assisting Cleva in its involvement in the accelerator’s winter 2024 batch. Previously, Y Combinator backed African startups to help freelancers and remote workers in the region open US bank accounts for receiving payments, savings, and currency exchange. Officials from Cleva stated in an interview offered to TechCrunch that Africans face constant difficulties when it comes to receiving international payments for their skills and products, with the market for supporting payments for remote workers and freelancers in the region being estimated to reach USD 18 billion.

Furthermore, Cleva aims to allow individuals to receive international payments, with plans to extend its services outside Nigeria in the future. The challenges in receiving payments are not limited to Nigeria or Africa, as individuals in Latin America, Asia, and Canada face similar issues when needing to collect money for their work and services. Initially, the fintech introduced its solutions to Nigerians, enabling them to open USD accounts, with the onboarding process requiring a Bank Verification Number (BVN) and government-issued ID. Moreover, Cleva focuses on providing an improved customer experience to its users, with the company being responsive when contacted via email or customer support.

Cleva’s strategy of development 

Currently, Cleva generates revenue when customers swap and exchange their funds in their USD accounts for the local currency, as well as by charging a 0.9% fee on deposits into users’ USD accounts, capping fees at USD 20. The company plans to launch several products to diversify its revenue streams, including USD cards and savings in US assets, as well as to target Africans working abroad. Cleva aims to enable individuals to develop professional invoices and send USD worldwide, allowing the fintech to enter the remittance category.

According to Cleva’s officials, the company’s long-term strategy is to evolve from being a product-only service to being a platform issuing APIs that supports it in distributing services across other African countries and around the world.

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Keywords: investment, funding, cross-border payments, online payments, bank account
Categories: Payments & Commerce
Companies: Cleva
Countries: Nigeria
This article is part of category

Payments & Commerce


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