An IROKO co-founder gets $3.2 million in early funding for his new company, Bamba

A year later, Bastian Gotter invested up to $200,000 in IROKOtv, a Lagos, Nigerian video-on-demand firm founded by Njoku’s buddy and co-founder Jason Njoku.

When IROKO raised over $30 million from venture capitalists, including Tiger Global, Gotter was important in making it a household brand in Nigeria’s entertainment and IT industries.

In 2017, Gotter resigned from his position at the media organisation, which gave him the freedom to focus only on angel investment and new ventures. Aside from Paystack, Flutterwave, and betPawa investments, Gotter also co-runs a new venture called Spark, an investment vehicle he co-founded with Njoku.

A pre-school network with locations in the United Kingdom and South Africa was launched by him in 2018 as a result of his efforts. It took him another two years to join the FinTech PawaPay founding team in Kenya. PawaPay is a platform that integrates mobile money systems from up to 25 telecom carriers and enables businesses in ten countries to accept and make payments between mobile money accounts.

As an investor and board member for PawaPay, Gotter’s involvement might range from active to passive. For Gotter, it was more of the latter, and thus in January, he started looking into additional mobile money payment possibilities for small enterprises. A mobile-based business software for African small businesses called Bamba was born out of this.

It became clear to him after spending time in Kenya, where the majority of transactions were made using mobile money and not cash, how much human accounting was required to keep track of the transactions.

As part of their customer relationship management, they also kept track of stock components and used WhatsApp to communicate with customers. He told TechCrunch, “It wasn’t a cohesive image and was simply a massive chaos.” As a result of this decision, Bamba was launched there.

90% of all enterprises in sub-Saharan Africa are micro, small, and medium-sized. In West Africa, new upstarts like Sabi Cash, Bumpa, Kippa, and OZÉ offer digital accounting services for a small number of people. In East Africa, where merchants conducted over $200 billion in mobile money transactions in the previous year, Bamba is a perfect fit.

Micro-merchants may use the platform’s corporate administration software and Android app to operate their operations. Among its functions are client management, inventory tracking, and payment processing.

It is possible for merchants to keep track of the cash and mobile money transactions they receive and the payments they make. “And we have an access point into the company via that first record keeping,” said Gotter, who also said that Bamba intends to increase cash collection for retailers mainly using USSD and M-Pesa pay bill numbers at point of sale.

In order to keep track of how many and which products are being sold, we have inventory management components.” Then comes the payment part, which leads to point of sale gadgets like Square or Yoco that provide you a greater image of your firm and your actions,” he writes.

Unavailability of credit is an issue for merchants all around the world, but in Sub-Saharan Africa, where the credit gap for small enterprises is over $300 billion, it is particularly acute. A key area where accounting digitalization is proving to be crucial for businesses is here. Despite the fact that many firms in this field have different ways of getting into the market, they all end up at the same place. Cash advances against future cash flow will be possible for Bamba’s merchants because to the intersection of inventories, CRM, and payments.

Previously, many firms were denied loans because their credit scores were too low to qualify for them. Because we have a clear view of our clients’ cash and mobile money receivables, we can make more precise loan choices for them than ever before, according to the CEO.

Bamba has yet to be released and is presently in stealth status. Gotter said that the five-month-old firm is now testing its platform with 30 different retailers. A minor charge paid by retailers and interest on its lending/cash advance product are the two sources of its income.

The CEO of Bamba, Martin Schramm, who launched the company in January, stated, “We’re really deep in the research phase and rapid iteration cycle to figure out the first product we want to sell at a wider scale in 12 regions.”

In order to speed up the process of obtaining additional customers and increasing the size of the technical team, this initial money is essential. PreSight Ventures and Jigsaw VC also contributed, as well as angel investors including Laurin Hainy and Leonard Stiegeler of Pulse. 468 Capital led the round.

Partner Ludwig Ensthaler of 468 Capital explained in a statement the reasons for his company’s investment in the Kenyan start-up. “Bamba is ideally situated with a terrific product and a good founder to establish a category-defining firm,” stated the investor of enterprise software for African small enterprises.