Nkiru Amadi-Emina, Co-founder of Pivo Africa, unveils Pivo’s journey in transforming supply chain finance. From identifying liquidity gaps in supply chains to becoming a credit-focused digital bank, Pivo Africa bridges tech and non-tech industries. Navigating economic shifts, they empower supply chain SMEs with funding, expansion, tools, and a progressive future.
Nkiru Amadi-Emina, the Co-founder of Pivo Africa, was inspired to create a solution that bridges the gap between businesses and liquidity. Drawing from her extensive experience as the Head of Port Operations at Kobo360, Nkiru was already rooted in the vendor management space.
One of the things that stood out to me, especially when speaking to vendors, was this idea that even though they had valid transactions and contracts... the common problem was that they did not have the liquidity to fulfil their transactions.
This insight highlighted a glaring issue: payment terms were often unfavourable for these vendors across different industries, leaving them grappling with a liquidity gap. Vendors faced this liquidity gap and banks couldn't provide them with the necessary capital to bridge it.
Nkiru saw an opportunity. She realized that Pivo could address this challenge by becoming a credit-focused digital bank. The idea was to empower formal and informal SMEs with valid transactions and for businesses to access capital for seamless transactions.
A lot of these businesses are in one way or the other aware of what supply chain finance means, which means I'm giving you money because you're going to pay me back once your end customer pays you back.
Leveraging her network, Nkiru found a way to connect with early adopters, making their entry into the market easier.
Supply chains exist in every industry. It exists in manufacturing, telecoms, and even technology platforms…These SMEs are either logistics providers, suppliers, or purchasers within any supply chain or value chain.
Pivo Africa decided to concentrate on manufacturing supply chains and identify the roles that informal SMEs play within these supply chains. The sporadic nature of telecom supply chains isn’t as profitable as the steady operations within manufacturing. This deliberation lead them to focus on the latter, driven by the understanding that the activity within manufacturing supply chains offers more value for their services.
We started with logistics vendors because, off the back of experience, I understand the dynamics of their transactions.
To ensure Pivo's accessibility to its audience and debunk the misconception about tech reluctance among informal SMEs, the platform was designed for simplicity. Pivo's user-friendly interface addresses both technological ease and customer convenience.
Pivo Africa is a bridge between technology and businesses, easing the adoption of digital solutions by making them intuitive. The company is committed to developing tools that empower and simplify, enabling businesses to flourish seamlessly.
Amid the prevailing economic downturn in Nigeria, Pivo Africa has found ways to navigate these turbulent waters as a tech business, especially one deeply intertwined with other industries.
I think we're just learning and adapting as we evolve. We've been intentional about understanding what the current environment and dynamic is and adapting and adjusting our operations and approach to suit the same.
Pivo also adopted heightened stringency compelled by macroeconomic factors. This adjustment is not only about safeguarding their interests but also about responsibly supporting their customers amidst the evolving challenges.
We have to be a lot stricter with how we decide who to give credit to. By being extremely detailed in the requests that we're responding to...it prevents us from being adversely affected by current conditions
This multi-faceted approach helps Pivo mitigate risks while continuing to provide value. And it reflects Pivo Africa's commitment to ensuring sustainable and mutually beneficial transactions.
Pivo is also expanding its services to provide more than just financial support. The commitment transcends beyond financial transactions, focusing on equipping businesses with tools for holistic growth.
We're starting to look at ways that we can begin to introduce our customers to business opportunities… figuring out how we can help our customers succeed and thrive within the economic shift.
Pivo Africa's commitment is not just weathering economic storms but also serving as support, to help their clients be successful in adversity.
Pivo Africa is committed to solidifying their position as a supply chain finance-focused digital bank for informal and formal SMEs. They will be incorporating corporate infrastructure that complements their technology and expands their influence.
The next five years for Pivo looks like first and foremost cementing our proposition as a supply chain finance digital bank.
Pivo is also improving its customer experience by adopting tools that can be added to the customer's Pivo account to help increase visibility into its operations.
Last year, Pivo Africa secured a $2 million seed fund to expand its product offerings to African supply chain SMEs. With this funding, they have started expanding within Nigeria, with an eye on commercial states like Port Harcourt, Kano, Abia, and Anambra.
Pivo Africa aspires to solidify its position in supply chain finance and digital banking while enhancing businesses' growth prospects.