Sudo Africa, a Nigeria-based Fintech that provides an open API platform that lets developers and businesses embed powerful financial features into their product has raised $3.7 million in pre-seed funding.
The founders, Aminu Bakori and Kabir Shittu were inspired to build Sudo after facing a problem while attempting to issue cards at their previous start-up.
“At some point, we wanted to issue cards and worked with one of the local banks in Nigeria,” said CEO Bakori. “They got to print up to 1,000 cards, but it took a lot of time and none of them functioned because the bank couldn’t provide any APIs for us to either manage the cards or even control the usage of those cards. That was the first time we came around, thinking about how to issue cards.”
San Francisco-based Global Founders Capital (GFC) led the round. Participating VCs include Picus Capital, LoftyInc Capital, Rallycap Ventures, Kepple Africa, Berrywood Capital, ZedCrest and Suya Ventures.
The founders pitched that while banks take weeks or months to give cards, Sudo Africa takes just days. In partnership with licensed card issuers, the company’s infrastructure allows itself and any developer or merchants that come on its platform to issue virtual and physical cards to their customers. And on the platform lets businesses control and program cards to their taste, build their features, and securely integrate with other services.
Sudo Africa is currently the only player in this space that offers its virtual and physical cards service solely in Nigeria.
Sudo provides an open API platform that enables companies to control powerful financial features programmatically, build their own features, securely integrate with other services, and create new world-class experiences. Build in minutes, launch in days.
The company charges interchange fees when its issued cards are used to make a web or POS transaction and takes authorization fees when spending and location-based controls are made. Sudo collects card production and personalization fees cheaper than incumbents’, claims Shittu.