Sparkle, a Nigerian digital bank, has raised a $3.1 million seed round from a group of investors in the country.
Seed funding is an early stage investment offering in which an investor invests capital in a startup company in exchange for an equity stake.
The digital bank, launched in 2019, provides its users with features such as savings, bill payments, airtime/cable/utility/transport top-ups, the ability to request or send funds, split bills, review spending breakdowns and more.
Sparkle, in a statement on Thursday, said the new investment will be used to scale talent teams across engineering, financial risk, and digital infrastructure.
It added that Leadway Assurance, Trium Networks and a number of Nigerian High net-worth individuals (HNIs) led the seed round.
The round brings Sparkle’s total funding to $5.1 million, the statement added.
“Sparkle has seen triple-digit growth between 2020/21 and will now continue its focus of connecting Nigerians and the global Nigerian Diaspora by building a different type of financial services platform that is more than just banking, but a means of improving the financial lifestyle of its users, allowing for borderless transactions,” the statement reads in part.
Commenting on the successful seed round, Uzoma Dozie, founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of Sparkle, said: “I’m delighted to be collaborating with a group of highly respected Nigerian businesses, investment firms and captains of industry – all of whom understand the real need for a digital-first platform such as Sparkle, to bring better access to financial services and, importantly, financial inclusion, to millions of more people – for business, for personal means or both.”
“Collectively, as a group of investors and business builders, we are Nigerians who are bullish about Nigeria and the opportunity the country presents in terms of building global networks and communities, all via one app.
“I am excited to welcome our new investors into the Sparkle tribe and will be leaning on their sector expertise and insight to build long-lasting partnerships as we scale.
“The future is about platforms, and connected platforms, to create seamless customer experience and, as we say, helping our users do what they want to do.
According to the statement, Sparkle said it had secured a partnership with Visa to allow users to make in-person or digital payments with a Visa card.
Dozie explained that Sparkle’s mission is to help Nigerians fulfill their potential by democratizing access to valuable solutions for their business and personal needs.