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CEO of Kippa, Kennedy Ekezie-Joseph, discusses his company’s mission helping African SMEs to manage their finances

  • The CEO of Kippa, Kennedy Ekezie-Joseph, tells BI Africa why he and his co-founders got here up with the thought to assist African SMEs handle their funds.
  • Kippa, which was based in 2021, lately raised $8.4 million after an preliminary pre-seed spherical of $3.2 million final 12 months.
  • Kennedy says the startup has been specializing in product growth and expertise acquisition, all aimed toward delivering the very best service to prospects.

Kennedy Ekezie-Joseph is without doubt one of the youngest CEOs in Africa. Final 12 months, he co-founded Kippa alongside Jephthah Chidozie-Uche and Duke Ekezie-Joseph. And shortly afterwards, the corporate introduced a pre-seed funding spherical to the tune of $3.2 million. Final week, the corporate additionally introduced that it had raised $8.4 million, thus bringing its whole pre-seed funding spherical to $11.6 million.

On this interview with Enterprise Insider Africa, he discusses what needs to be anticipated going ahead. Benefit from the dialog.

BI Africa: For the advantage of a few of our readers who could not know you, may you inform us extra about what Kippa does?

Kennedy Ekezie-Joseph: Kippa is a full-service finance administration resolution constructed for small companies in Africa to handle their enterprise funds. Retailers use Kippa to report their day by day earnings and expense transactions, handle their stock, and automate the debt recollection course of.

Earlier than constructing the corporate, we travelled throughout Nigeria and realised that on a foundational degree, these are the most important the explanation why small companies in Africa stay small and don’t scale. 95% of small companies in Nigeria (our major market) die within the first 5 years - constructing generational companies shouldn't be the norm in our a part of the world. In attempting to resolve that downside, we additionally found the necessity for ease in accepting funds and promoting to extra prospects for this class of companies, so we're additionally engaged on merchandise to resolve these issues.

BI Africa: How did you provide you with the thought for Kippa? Is there any specific downside you got down to resolve?

Kennedy Ekezie-Joseph: Earlier than we began Kippa we took a visit round our nation, Nigeria. We visited retailers in several states to grasp how they interacted with funds in enterprise. The consequence was the presence of a novel alternative to cater to a beforehand ignored phase.

After we began out, we needed to assist small companies run extra profitably and sustainably. African companies function informally and this lack of construction permits companies to lose thousands and thousands of {dollars} yearly. Unpaid debt mishandled information and poor stock administration means these companies are unable to develop like companies in different components of the world.

BI Africa: Kippa has been round for lower than a 12 months and nonetheless has managed to report important success. What would you say are among the components driving the corporate's development?

Kennedy Ekezie-Joseph: Essentially the most essential success issue is the intimate, candid understanding of the wants of our customers, and the resultant pace at which we innovate for small companies in Africa. Historically, these companies are ignored and shut out of the present monetary system. We see this as a bonus for us, as a result of it offers us room to construct extra infrastructure and options for them, consequently making us extra highly effective at scale.

BI Africa: Given the presence of different software program as a service apps throughout Africa, what would you say stands Kippa out?

Kennedy Ekezie-Joseph: That is the golden period of know-how in Africa, and we're proud to be surrounded and supported by different firms constructing at breakneck pace. Just a few issues make Kippa stand out: our self-discipline round our buyer phase focus and our product method - constructing for retailers who're coming on-line for the primary time requires a radically totally different method to design and growth. Our product ecosystem additionally permits companies to hyperlink totally different points of their enterprise on one app and that in some ways simplifies working all of the shifting components of a enterprise.

Bi Africa: Which different African international locations, moreover Nigeria, is your service at present obtainable in?

Kennedy Ekezie-Joseph: We're solely obtainable in Nigeria and that’s as a result of it’s such an vital market to resolve for and among the finest representations of the African market. Nevertheless, as we consolidate our momentum in Nigeria, enlargement to different African markets will turn into a precedence.

BI Africa: Speak us via your development projections. The place do you see Kippa within the subsequent 3 to 5 years?

Kennedy Ekezie-Joseph: Our aim is to construct an built-in end-to-end software program stack and be the #1 supplier of important instruments and providers for small companies in Africa. In 5 years, we would like each small enterprise to be working on Kippa-built software program or utilizing a number of of our providers.

BI Africa: As one of many youngest tech founders in Africa, what has the expertise been like for you? And what recommendation do you've got for different younger, aspiring tech entrepreneurs?

Kennedy Ekezie-Joseph: Constructing an organization has supplied me with the one greatest alternative to scale myself. It’s one factor to got down to resolve such an bold downside, it’s one other factor to guide a crew to amplify the execution on a much bigger scale than if you set out. My recommendation might be cliche, however there's a purpose sure issues are cliche: as a younger aspiring entrepreneur, spend time determining if that is one of the simplest ways so that you can create an influence on the planet. Normally, one of the simplest ways to take action can be by working at a fast-growing startup. Moreover, encompass your self with good and gifted individuals with who you may have enjoyable as you construct and develop. A mix of grit, back-of-brain motivation and technical competence scale your means to efficiently construct and develop a startup.

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