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    HomeEcosystem NewsWESTERN AFRICABrass Customers Await Answers as Paystack-Led Group Acquires Fintech Amid Financial Questions

    Brass Customers Await Answers as Paystack-Led Group Acquires Fintech Amid Financial Questions

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    In a significant development for Nigeria’s burgeoning fintech landscape, a consortium of investors led by payment giant Paystack has acquired Brass, a business banking startup. The deal, which was finalized this week, ends months of uncertainty surrounding the future of Brass following reports of delays in processing withdrawals for its customers and liquidity concerns. Other members of the consortium include: Piggyvest, Ventures Platform, P1 Ventures, and angel investors Oo Nwoye and Olumide Soyombo.

    Brass, founded in 2020 by Sola Akindolu and Emmanuel Okeke, aimed to provide a full-stack banking service for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria. In 2021, Brass secured $1.7 million in funding from several prominent Nigerian tech players, including Ventures Platform (a pan-African VC firm), Flutterwave CEO Olugbenga “GB” Agboola, Paystack co-founder Ezra Olubi. Additional investors included Voltron Capital’s Olumide Soyombo and Fola Olatunji-David.

    However, by late 2023, Brass faced operational challenges, including delays in processing customer withdrawals. These difficulties led to rumors of a potential shutdown and raised concerns about the stability of other fintech companies in Nigeria. Despite securing bridge financing to address working capital issues, the company’s future remained unclear.

    The acquisition by Paystack and other investors marks a new chapter for Brass. According to a joint statement, the consortium aims to “enable entrepreneurship for Africans, making it more frictionless, and successful.” The founders, Akindolu and Okeke, will be leaving the company, and a new leadership team is expected to be announced soon.

    The consortium has assured Brass customers that there will be no immediate changes to the product or services. They have also committed to “further investment in product and service improvements.” The acquisition is expected to quell concerns about the stability of the fintech sector and provide Brass with the resources and expertise needed to overcome its recent challenges.

    While the acquisition offers a lifeline for Brass, questions remain about the company’s financial situation. Sources familiar with the matter claim that there were significant discrepancies in the company’s balance sheet, amounting to billions of Naira. The new owners have acknowledged the “difficult business environment” faced by Brass and expressed confidence in their ability to turn the company around with “a healthy investment of new capital.”

    This acquisition highlights the dynamism and challenges of Nigeria’s fintech ecosystem. While the sector has witnessed significant growth and innovation, it has also seen its share of setbacks. 

    As Nigeria’s fintech landscape continues to evolve, it is likely that we will see more collaborations and consolidations, shaping the future of financial services in the country.

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