- Dapio, a provider of cashless payment solutions to businesses in the United Kingdom, said today that it had raised $3.4 million to support its ‘Tap to Pay’ solution for Android users in the United Kingdom and Europe.
- Flutterwave, Africa’s largest payments startup, and Techstars co-led the growth round.
- PactVC was also a participant, as was Daniel Gould, a venture partner at Asymmetry Ventures.
Dapio, a supplier of cashless payment solutions for companies located in the United Kingdom, today announced the raising of $3.4 million to fund the launch of its ‘Tap to Pay’ solution for Android users in the United Kingdom and Europe. Flutterwave, Africa’s largest payments company, co-led the expansion round with Techstars. PactVC and Daniel Gould, a venture partner at Asymmetry Ventures, participated.
Previously known as Paymob — not to be confused with the same-named Egyptian payments processor — Dapio enables companies to take cashless payments in-store by converting the back of any Android smartphone into a square card reader. Microbusinesses and single entrepreneurs, particularly those operated by migrants, sometimes struggle to invest in hardware and point-of-sale systems due to their high cost and bulky nature. And this affects their ability to collect money from customers.
In the United Kingdom, there are an estimated 3.2 million of these types of enterprises. Apart from the fact that these systems are challenging to acquire, this market, which accounts for 75% of all firms in the United States, is underserved by traditional payment providers.
A few years ago, he moved to the United Kingdom and first encountered difficulties obtaining financial services such as insurance, creating bank accounts, and initiating payment processing, co-founder and CEO Kosta Du told TechCrunch.
He is well aware of this anguish and the difficulty of visiting a bank and going through the particular procedure required of a large firm. His wife also had challenges when attempting to pay clients through wire transfer, as these microbusinesses were not qualified for large machines. And he just believed that there should be a more elegant payment method for solopreneurs and microbusinesses.
Du founded Dapio in 2019 alongside co-founder Grigory Gurbanov. And in the years afterward, the business has worked with numerous financial institutions to get permits to run a mobile app that substitutes card terminals. Dapio’s introduction reflects the state of the UK payments market — where contactless payments helped by NFC technology have skyrocketed in popularity, accounting for about a quarter of all transactions in the nation.
It’s even gaining traction internationally as Apple prepares to introduce Tap to Pay in the United States. However, Dapio focuses only on the Android market, which accounts for 42% of the US mobile market, 46% in the United Kingdom, and 71% internationally. According to the company, its upcoming ‘Press to Pay’ mobile app will enable any establishment to quickly take contactless payments with a card or mobile phone tap. ZmBIZI and Payment Plus are currently among their partners.
If you are establishing a business or are an entrepreneur, you may need to visit a bank, open a bank account, and request a $300 machine. However, according to Du, what they developed is simply a mobile application that resides on their phone. When you, as a company owner or solopreneur, need to charge payment, you open the app while placing the customer’s card behind the phone.
With several competitors offering contactless payments, such as Zilch and Nomod, and others integrating Apple Pay, how can Dapio differentiate itself?
The crucial distinction between other participants and us is their willingness to engage in embedded finance. According to the chief executive, they do not want to approach businesses directly; instead, they intend to incorporate their payment acceptance function into the current apps of fintech, point-of-sale vendors, banks, and telecommunications companies.
Dapio is now testing its product with up to twenty businesses. CEO Du stated that by the time Dapio goes live with the few partnerships established, the platform would have onboarded over 3,500 companies. And, because ZmBIZI and Payment Plus are powering Dapio’s expansion throughout the United States, the United Kingdom, and Europe, co-lead investor Flutterwave will be critical as the company looks to expand into Africa the Middle East.
A Flutterwave investment outside of Africa was rarely expected. The company had made just one public investment in Ivorian fintech CinetPay and looked intent on consolidating its footprint on the continent. Nonetheless, the fintech unicorn remains selective in reaching mature markets and investing in businesses there, as it did with Dapio, is part of a long-term strategy revealed in a February interview by CEO Olugbenga’ GB’ Agboola.
They intend to broaden their emphasis beyond Africa to emerging markets and eventually the United States, the United Kingdom, and Europe. Their objective, he explained, is to guarantee that their infrastructure powers those lanes. Du continued, “The critical element for us is facilitating payment acceptance for micro and small firms; this drives current economic changes.” Flutterwave, upon witnessing this, expressed a strong desire for us to be a part of their larger vision.