Nigerian B2B Startup Alerzo Acquires FinTech Firm Shago Payments

Nigerian B2B Startup Alerzo Acquires FinTech Firm Shago Payments

Ibadan-based B2B e-Commerce startup Alerzo has announced the acquisition of Fintech company Shago Payments to provide new digital services to its 150,000-plus informal retailers.

Alerzo was founded in 2018 by Adewale Opaleye as a delivery platform that enables direct delivery of goods from manufacturers down to retailers until 2019 when the startup officially delved into e-Commerce intending to bring the country’s informal retail sector online.

Alerzo Founder Adewale Opaleye speaking said he created Alerzo to meet a core need that his mother, a businesswoman, had at the time.

“I started Alerzo to help my mom, a single mother who ran two informal retail stores to support me and my three siblings. Before Alerzo, she had to close her shop and travel for hours to buy the inventory to stay in business.

“Retail store operators, particularly women, often fall victims to thefts because people know they carry cash,” said Opalaye.

Recall that Alerzo raised $10.5m in a Series A funding round in August this year, the startup at the time had promised to launch new business support services like AlerzoPay, its cashless payments, and lending platforms.

The use of Alerzo enables users to order and have stock delivered quickly, receive and make cashless payments, and track the profitability of their store’s inventory.

And the integration of Shago into the company’s payments arm, AlerzoPay, now gives informal retail stores access to services such as mobile airtime top-up, bill payments, and peer-to-peer transfers.

Iyinoluwa Aboyeji, the co-founder of Flutterwave and Andela and a member of Alerzo’s advisory board, said most businesses “talk a good game” about financial and economic inclusion but then proceed to focus their businesses on commercially savvy megacities like Lagos or Nairobi.

“Alerzo’s focus on excluded but commercially viable commerce communities in smaller cities like Ibadan is exemplary and visionary. I’m inspired by their focus on communities that are truly excluded,” he said.