Fintech Startup Thepeer Shut Down after $2.1m Seed Round

Nigerian fintech startup Thepeer, which provided Application Programming Interface (APIs) allowing customers to embed financial products into their platforms, has closed down after failing to scale post-funding.

Thepeer was founded in 2021 by Kosisochukwu Chike Ononye and Michael Okoh. The company provides APIs that allow fintechs and other businesses to embed different sets of financial products into their applications and websites.

The startup banked a US$2.1 million seed round back in June 2022, but has now announced it is closing down, and will return its remaining capital to investors, after failing to scale.

“We embarked on a mission to create something unprecedented, a unique method for transferring money between digital wallets and making payments for goods and services directly from these wallets. Yet, we soon realised that exceptional technology alone wasn’t sufficient,” Thepeer said in a statement.

“Our unique service had its challenges, the first being compliance issues that hindered us from launching key wallet providers or maintaining their services. Additionally, the overall acceptance of wallets as a viable payment option didn’t grow as rapidly as we had hoped, this meant we had to spend a lot of time and resources educating people about what we do.’

Faced with these challenges, the company needed to make a decision – to either do a hard pivot, an M&A deal, or return capital to investors.

“After carefully weighing our options, we decided that returning the remaining capital to investors was the best decision,” it said. “We could not align our product with the market’s needs at our current size and scale.”

Thepeer will now be placed on maintenance mode, with the founders saying they will work to maintain the platform for as long as possible until they “discover a new home for it”. Naira Slides as Nigerians Import Appetite Rises

Venture capital funding has declined significantly across the world in 2023 and 2024, and though there were initial hopes that the nascency of the African tech ecosystem might mean it avoided too much damage, the growing size of the continent’s “startup graveyard” suggests that is not the case.

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