Cleva's Pre-Seed Funding Triumph
Nigerian FinTech Cleva emerges victorious in a pre-seed funding round, securing an impressive $1.5 million. The funding, led by San Francisco-based venture capital firm 1984 Ventures, marks a significant milestone for Cleva, propelling the company into new heights of innovation and expansion. Other key participants in the funding round include The Raba Partnership, Byld Ventures, FirstCheck Africa, Y Combinator, and various angel investors. As a testament to its promise, Cleva joins Y Combinator's prestigious winter 2024 batch in January.
Redefining USD Banking: Cleva's Mission
Launched in August 2023 by Tolu Alabi and Philip Abel, Cleva is on a mission to redefine USD banking for Africans, enabling them to receive, spend, and save in USD, regardless of their geographical location. The co-founders, both born and raised in Nigeria, believe in their unique ability to compete in the $18 billion payment facilitation market for remote workers and freelancers in Africa. CEO Tolu Alabi emphasizes their invaluable experience and strong connection with the African market.
Unique Offerings in USD Banking
Cleva stands out in the competitive FinTech landscape by streamlining the process of opening USD accounts, eliminating hassle, and capping charges for deposits received at $20. A distinctive feature that separates Cleva from its competitors, who commonly apply an uncapped 1% fee regardless of the amount received. Since its launch, Cleva has successfully facilitated the creation of thousands of USD accounts for Nigerians, processing over $1 million in monthly payments within the initial four months.
Backing Cleva's Unique Capacity
Aaron Michael, a partner at 1984 Ventures, expresses confidence in Cleva's team and their unique qualifications to address challenges in the FinTech landscape. With experience in building banking products at Stripe and robust platforms at AWS, Cleva's team showcases impressive early growth, highlighting their exceptional execution capabilities across Africa and the U.S.
Cleva's Pipeline and Expansion Plans
Looking ahead, Cleva anticipates unveiling several upcoming products to enhance and diversify revenue streams. According to CTO Abel, these offerings will include USD cards and savings invested in U.S. assets. Despite navigating typical challenges faced by FinTechs, such as securing the right banking partner and talent acquisition, Cleva remains committed to expanding its reach to Africans in the diaspora. Upcoming products are poised to introduce features allowing users to generate professional invoices and send USD globally, positioning Cleva in the competitive remittance category alongside platforms like Flutterwave's Send, Chipper Cash, and Lemfi.