The Global VC

Flex Finance Wants to Help African Businesses Digitize their B2B Expenditures

B2B spend in Africa is a trillion-dollar market, but for many businesses managing expenditures remains a manual task.

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From left to right: Anthony Adegbemi, Omoyeni O, Yemi Olulana, Tochukwu Onuchukwu, and Abiodun Kolade

Jordan Sawadogo

Investor, 500 Global





Businesses in Africa are expected to spend $4.2 trillion by 2030 on business-to-business transactions, up from $1.6 trillion in 2015, with the biggest sectors being agriculture, manufacturing, construction, and transportation. Managing B2B spend, however, is still a manual task that is slow, error-prone, and disjointed–issues that can lead to higher operating costs and impede lender underwriting.

Enter Flex Finance, an all-in-one platform that helps businesses in Africa digitize their B2B spend–from expense tracking and management, to vendor payments and employee corporate cards. The company offers financial management solutions across all major commercial payment channels, including mobile, web, and corporate cards–similar to Brex in the U.S., Spendesk in Europe, and Clara in Latin America.

Why now?

We believe that three major tailwinds work in Flex Finance’s favor. First, high inflationary environments mean customers need to control costs. Second, we’ve seen growing acceptance of fintechs as partners, a trend started with the first wave of fintech adoption in Africa, and spearheaded by players such as Interswitch and Flutterwave. More fintechs are seeing an increase in financial transactions on Nigeria’s Central Bank “switch” than traditional banks. Lastly, recent pan-African economic policies are expected to spur cross-border trade. Regulators are pushing for the digitization of cash and new trade agreements, such as AfCFTA, can potentially unlock trillions in value by creating a single trade block, similar to the EU. 

The Nigerian market

In 2021, Nigeria had the world’s 6th largest instant payment infrastructure, three spots ahead of the US and one spot behind the UK. According to one study, financial innovation is a significant contributor to the country’s economic growth. By starting in Nigeria, we believe Flex Finance can service a significant beachhead market while building on the continent’s most advanced financial infrastructure rails. Competitors who built rails outside of Nigeria and want to enter the market might have to re-engineer their tech stack, on the other hand.

Getting to know Flex Finance

We met the Flex team through founders in the 500 Global network. Yemi Olulana, the co-founder and CEO, was a two-time technical co-founder who previously went through the Catalyst program that helped accelerate startups such as Chipper Cash. Omoyeni O, co-founder and Head of Growth, has a proven track of scaling revenue at a tech-enabled B2B company. Rounding out the team are Tochukwu Onuchukwu, Head of Product and Design, who was  previously at a Nigerian neobank, CTO Anthony Adegbemi, who has strong payment experience, and Abiodun Kolade, Head of Payments.

The future of Flex Finance

After experimenting with different acquisition channels, honing in on a sales playbook for their three core industries in logistics, manufacturing and quick service restaurants, and shortening sales cycles by deploying offline agents to support digital marketing efforts, Flex has grown annualized volume transactions 10x over the past 12 months. The company plans to pursue upmarket customers, and grow active accounts. It will also continue building new features to serve inbound requests from larger customers who have more complex compliance and financial workflows.

An important KPI the team is tracking is the number of digitized approval workflows. As large companies typically have multiple approval workflows depending on the subsidiary or department, this KPI serves as a proxy for how embedded Flex is in an organization. Expansion plans are also in the works, and include Kenya, Ghana, and South Africa. 

We look forward to supporting the Flex Finance team!


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Jordan Sawadogo

Investor, 500 Global