Flutterwave, Africa’s most valuable startup, invested in Piggytech, the parent company of PiggyVest, the Nigerian fintech that made saving fashionable in mid-2023, TechCabal has learned. The deal is structured as a SAFE (Simple Agreement for Future Equity), which means Flutterwave made the cash investment into PiggyVest with the promise of receiving equity in a funding round in the future. 

“Terms of the deal are not being disclosed at the moment,” Piggyvest told TechCabal in an official statement confirming the deal.

Two sources with knowledge of the matter put the investment amount at $3 million. Until this investment, Piggyvest had only disclosed $1.1 million in venture funding.

The fintech giant said it had received $5 million in venture funding since 2016, a detail that has not been previously reported. 

The recent investment by Flutterwave comes amid PiggyVest’s broader push to raise external funding, which has been in the works for more than two years, according to people familiar with the situation. Disagreement over valuation terms and the global economic downturn have affected fundraising, those people said. Flutterwave’s investment allows the payments company to have a deeper relationship with PiggyVest while the latter forges ahead with its investment round.

Flutterwave did not immediately respond to a request for comments. 

PiggyVest’s last major venture funding round was in 2018, when it raised $1.1 million from a roll call of angel investors. In 2021, Nigerian investment firm VFD Group said it had acquired a 12% stake

in the company and became a major partner in the rollout of Pocket and Patronize. VFD Group’s acquisition of 12% in PiggyVest was a mix of cash investment and a merger of a competing VFD Group product, people with knowledge of the matter told TechCabal.

PiggyVest has maintained decent growth while claiming to be profitable. The holding company posted annual revenue of around $25 million in 2021, while its 2022 revenue grew slightly to roughly $27 million, said people familiar with the company’s finances. Those figures have not been previously reported. 

Founded in 2016, PiggyVest is as old as Flutterwave and was created by four co-founders as a savings platform for young Nigerians looking for a better way to stash their money and learn financial discipline. The app allows people to keep funds in their savings accounts on the app and accrue interest on their deposits. 

Customers can only access their funds four times a year or incur a fee penalty for early withdrawal. Since its creation, the platform said it has paid out over ₦1.1 trillion ($1.37 billion*) to customers by the end of 2022 through fixed withdrawal timelines. The platform disbursed ₦400 billion ($497.3 million) last year alone and claims it now has over 4.5 million registered users on its wealth management service.

However, PiggyVest’s business model has evolved over the last few years. The platform originally started out as a deposit holding service that invests consumer funds in government assets, such as bonds and treasury bills. Until the end of 2022, PiggyVest’s website claimed the company had a partnership with AIICO Capital, a licensed Nigerian fund manager, where customer deposits were “warehoused” and managed. The partnership helped PiggyVest navigate Nigeria’s regulatory environment, although it’s unclear how this partnership is structured. 

In recent years, PiggyVest has been reconstituted as a holding company called PiggyTech Global Holdings Limited, incorporated in the UK and Nigeria, according to information on the company’s website and B2B Hints, a business registration directory. 

The company operates multiple services, including PiggyVest, the wealth management app; Pocket, a consumer payments app; and Patronize, a point-of-sales product that allows retail stores to accept payments offline. Since mid-2023, PiggyVest’s website shows the holding company now has a fund manager license from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) through an affiliate company, PV Capital, allowing it to manage customer assets as a fund manager.

*Exchange rate used is $1 = N804.4

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