Finnish VC Inventure has been busy with their seed program so far, this time leading a $600,000 round into Startup Sauna participant and Arctic15 finalist IroFit. Other participants in the round include Solinor, a Finnish payment industry software development company, and Rasheed Olaoluwa, an industry expert.
IroFit’s solution is a mobile platform for small business to accept card payments through a mobile EMV-certified card reader, and to provide support for small businesses through management tools like sales accounting, inventory management, CRM, loyalty management, and payroll support. There are a lot of competitors in this space like Stockholm’s iZettle or any number of online or mobile payment providers, but IroFit’s special sauce is the ability to take and make payments even without an internet connection, instead using basic GSM connectivity when no internet is available.
“Emerging markets are the fastest growing economies in the world”, said Omoniyi Olawale, IroFit’s Founder and CEO, “and they demand solutions designed specifically for their needs, rather than repurposed services originally built for Western markets.”
IroFit’s solution is currently under development and has not officially launched, but with the funding news they announce they’ve signed a major agreement with “a leading financial institution” which they will name at a later date. But with the partnership they’ve guaranteed a hundred thousand payment devices will be available to the Nigerian market upon launch.
Without deep knowledge about the payment needs for Nigeria and other emerging markets, I’m still bullish about the company. The founders seem to have a fairly unique solution and the timing feels right for their solution. If they nail everything right, this is a company with huge potential.
We’ll stay posted with the company as they release more news.