YC-backed Nigerian startup, Shekel Mobility, has raised $7 million in a seed round comprising $3.2 million in equity and over $4 million in debt.
The company said the fund would be deployed to drive growth in its Annual recurring revenue (ARR) as it gears up for its next priced round.
Shekel Mobility in January this year announced a $1.95 million pre-seed investment led by Ventures Platform with participation from Y Combinator, Voltron Capital and Zedcrest.
The seed round was co-led by Ventures Platform alongside MaC Venture Capital. Other investors include Y Combinator, Rebel Fund, Unpopular Ventures, Maiora Capital, PageOne Lab Inc., Phoenix Investment Club, Heirloom VC, Pioneer Ventures, and other angel investors.
Meanwhile, Zedvance, VFD Microfinance Bank, Zenith Bank, and Fluna, amongst others, provided the debt component; some have leveraged Shekel Mobility’s platform to finance auto dealerships, according to the startup.
Sheke Mobility operates in the same space with other mobility startups like Autochek and Moove, who are addressing vehicle ownership by serving consumers and drivers, respectively through financing. Vehicle financing is crucial for small car dealers as it helps them with daily transactions and keeps costs down.
What Shekel Mobility does
The mobility-fintech startup helps car dealers find, finance and sell cars in the $30 billion African used car market.
The company said it is positioning itself as the premier platform to launch and grow a car dealership locally or virtually as it wants to build the largest auto dealership ecosystem with transactions amounting to $10 billion annually by 2025.
To date, the auto dealer marketplace said it has powered transactions worth over $56 million, facilitating the growth of over 1,400 auto dealers by augmenting their inventories and sales across 7,000 cars.
Building on its growth in the last 20 months through its credit product, Shekel Mobility said it is set to introduce more offerings, including Shekel Business. This product, the founders said, will look to digitize the informal trading processes within the auto dealership vertical.
- “One of the fundamental things we’ve built is the ability to buy a car without collateral. We started out lending to dealers, but now we’re looking to provide additional digital tools and physical infrastructure to reduce the cost of owning car dealerships,” Shekel Mobility Co-founder, Benjamen Oladokun said.
Commenting on the funding, the founding partner at Ventures Platform, Kola Aina, noted that Shekel is building a crucial market-creating innovation that is important to expanding Nigeria and soon Africa’s automotive industry.
In the same vein, founder and managing partner at MaC Venture Capital’s Marlon Nichols, speaking on the round, said Shekel Mobility has the potential to transform and ignite the automotive industry in Africa as it finances and empowers small businesses that require financing to survive.
- “The team is enabling millions of dollars to move through the Nigerian economy and simultaneously providing locals with affordable automobiles,” he said.