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Nigerian banking-as-a-service startup Anchor raises $1m pre-seed round.

Nigeria’s Anchor, a banking-as-a-service (BaaS) platform making it possible to seamlessly build financial products in Africa, has raised over US$1 million in pre-seed funding and announced its public beta launch. 

Founded by Segun Adeyemi, ex-CEO of Amplifypay, Olamide Sobowale and Gbekeloluwa Olufotebi, Anchor provides APIs for offering accounts, money movement, savings and card products.

The startup’s newly-launched public beta API infrastructure makes it easier for African businesses to build, embed and launch financial products, starting in its first market, Nigeria.

“We built Anchor to abstract away the complexities in building financial products, so businesses can get started in five minutes with a few lines of code,” said Adeyemi.

The startup, which is currently taking part in the Y Combinator S22 batch, has now raised more than US$1 million in pre-seed funding to help it scale its offering. YC is one of the investors, alongside Byld Ventures, Luno Expeditions, Niche Capital, Mountain Peak Capital, and a host of angel investors, including Emmanuel Okeleji, Ado Oseragbaje, Yinka Odeleye, and Sanmi Famuyide.

Anchor’s BaaS platform has already transacted millions since its May beta launch, growing over 200 per cent month-on-month, and it is launching its public beta for African businesses to embed finance into their offerings and for fintechs to build banking products. Already, the company has more than 40 other startups on its waitlist.

“We have seen first-hand the painful process of closing banking partnerships, negotiating third-party contracts, and obtaining regulatory approvals. And more generally, the extensive time and effort required to launch financial products,” said Adeyemi.

“Considering the similarity in the underlying infrastructure, irrespective of the unique value propositions, companies should not have to wait for years and spend millions to go-to-market. That’s why we are excited to get Anchor into the hands of many more businesses via our public beta launch.”

Ashutosh Desai, a partner at Y Combinator, said he was excited to back Anchor’s team in building financial infrastructure that is essential for Africa’s economic growth.

“Anchor’s embedded finance platform enables technology companies in Africa to build products that can rapidly expand access and improve quality of financial services,” he said.

Byld Ventures founder Youcef Oudjidane said he believed BaaS would play a prominent role in the distribution of financial services in Africa. 

“As a full stack BaaS provider, Anchor demarcates customer engagement from infrastructure – enabling its customers to focus on building differentiation as opposed to commodity infrastructure. We are really excited to be working with this determined and experienced team,” he said.

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