Pipit embraces crowdfunding ahead of Series A investment

Galway-based social impact start-up looking to disrupt migrant cash remittances model

Pipit charges 3.5 per cent per transaction as against an average 9 per cent for remittances.

Pipit charges 3.5 per cent per transaction as against an average 9 per cent for remittances.

 

Pipit Global, a fintech company based in Galway, has gone live with a €300,000 crowdfunding campaign ahead of plans to raise €2 million in a Series A funding round later this year.

The for-profit social impact start-up has developed an online platform designed to disrupt companies such as Western Union by providing a better solution for migrant cash remittances. Instead of remitting cash, a migrant can lodge cash directly into an account back at home using Pipit’s technology.

Its solution integrates with payment providers in developing economies to allow people without bank accounts who only use cash to send money back home to pay bills, top up an ewallet and/or provide additional support for their families.

An estimated $554 billion was sent globally in 2019 with as much as $75 billion of this in cash sent by migrants who have traditionally had to use services that charge high costs. Using Pipit, however, migrants can lodge cash directly into accounts in their home country using their mobile phones.

“We chose the crowdfunding model because we’re at the stage where we are too big for angel investors but not quite big enough yet for a Series A so this is a stepping stone between the two,” said co-founder Ollie Walsh.

“I also think we have a great story to tell and the success of crowdfunding campaigns lies to a great degree with people forming an emotional attachment to what you’re trying to do,” he added.

Charges

Pipit charges 3.5 per cent per transaction as against an average 9 per cent for remittances. Users get a barcode that appears on their smartphone and which can be sent on. Once a family member arrives at one of more than 320,000 cash-in points across 30 countries, the code can be scanned and then a bill paid locally. The company also pays out to 211 million African bank accounts and 50 million African ewallets as well as 100,000 retail and ATM points in Latin America

Last year, Pipit processed £6.5 million in transactions from Britain to Ghana with revenue of €70,000 for the company. This was 1.5 per cent of the total Britain to Ghana remittance market in 2020. Mr Walsh said that if it can achieve the same market share elsewhere as it is looking to expand in , this would equate to $20 million in revenues.

Pipit previously closed an investment round in 2018 at a €4.2 million post investment valuation. That was based on a collections network with just 25,000 pay-in points.

Mr Walsh said the company intends to use funding secured from the crowdfunding campaign and a Series A, which will get underway in the fourth quarter, by adding 30 countries to its pay-in network as well as adding more billers, banking platforms, ewallets and ecommerce platforms to its network.

The company, whose backers include Enterprise Ireland, last year won a British Department of International Trade fintech award. It intends to roll out its services shortly in France, Spain, Senegal and Kenya.

Pipit is forecasting revenues of €10 million by 2024 and is targeting a trade sale in the next three years.

Its crowdfunding campaign is live on the Irish platform, Spark Crowdfunding.