For Nigerian doctor and current Finland resident Omoniyi Olawale, rapid proliferation of mobile payment usage across Africa represents a solid opportunity. His startup, IroFit, is taking aim at the market of mobile payments in the developing world.
One of the most intriguing aspects of this service is that the team behind it are developing the platform to be able to process payments in real-time, even when the internet is down, which they aim to accomplish by using basic GSM connectivity. Olawale tells me that they intend to generate revenue by taking a small commission from each transaction processed, as payment-facilitators typically do.
Irofit has not yet launched, but Olawale tells me that they are preparing to launch a pilot program in Nigeria during the first quarter of 2015. He says that they intend to partner with 5,000 merchants and, should it succeed, launch and take the platform international, within and outside of Africa.
Just this week, Irofit announced that they have picked up $600K in seed funding to continue developing their platform and to fund their launch in Nigeria. The startup, which Olawale says they previously bootstrapped, obtained this latest funding from Finnish early-stage VC Inventure, payments-software developer Solinor, and private investor Rasheed Olaoluwa. IroFit also announced that they have reached an agreement with an undisclosed financial institution to deliver 100K payment devices in the Nigerian market upon launch, but they will apparently reveal further information about that deal at a later date.