CrowdForce, a Nigerian agency banking platform, has raised a pre-Series A funding round of US$3.6 million to triple the size of its PayForce agent network this year and expand its financial service services to underserved Nigerian communities.
Aruwa Capital Management led the US$3.6 million pre-Series A round, which included participation from HAVAC and AAIC. CrowdForce intends to use the funds to grow its personnel, geographical operations, and marketing efforts in order to expand its agent network. CrowdForce intends to triple the number of its 7,000 active agents this year.
CrowdForce was founded in 2018 by Oluwatomi and Damilola Ayorinde as Mobile Forms, a data analytics platform that provides insights into hard-to-reach rural and semi-peri urban communities.
The startup has created a financial services distribution platform that can instantly transform any retailer into a mobile bank branch. The platform leverages data analytics to develop financial services products that are truly inclusive. PayForce is a point-of-sale system that enables the provision of ATM, transfer, and bill payment services.
“In Africa, fintechs and challenger banks are establishing themselves to provide superior financial services via digital rails. Although this is an excellent step for the business, cash is clearly still king in Nigeria. 97 percent of retail transactions take place offline. There is an undeniable need for an offline distribution network to enable fintechs and challengers to reach the general market – this is precisely what CrowdForce is doing, and this investment will accelerate our momentum even further,” said Oluwatomi Ayorinde, CrowdForce’s CEO and co-founder.
Additionally, the startup intends to expand its distribution of point-of-sale terminals to small businesses — gas stations, pharmacies, and aggregators/resellers – that serve as mobile bank branches. Since 2020, CrowdForce has been cash positive and has served 1.9 million unique consumers across 25 Nigerian states.