Nigerian fintech start-up Grey has raised $2 million in seed funding. This allows the business to further simplify sending and receiving foreign payments in African markets via free virtual, international bank accounts.
“Grey was founded in 2021 to empower people to live a location-independent lifestyle,” says its chief executive Idorenyin Obong.
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“I believe that the least of your worries as a freelancer, remote worker, or digital nomad should be sending or receiving payments, so we’ve made it easy. We like to say that we’re on a mission to make international payments as easy as sending an email. We want to do impactful work to improve how Africa as a continent interacts with money across its borders. I am delighted that we’ve acquired an extensive and fiercely loyal user base.”
On Grey, you can create a foreign USD, GBP, and EUR bank account for free, send money to the UK and Europe, and receive payments from over 88 countries. The company also offers conversion directly to your local currency so that you can spend it easily on the app. Grey allows users to receive foreign payments in their preferred foreign currency and withdraw directly to mobile money or their local bank account.
In addition to the funding announcement, Grey also announced Its expansion into East Africa, starting with Kenya, and partnerships with payments giant Cellulant and ed-tech leader Moringa.
Travelling to Kenya is now much easier with Grey because you can pay vendors directly to M-pesa. For example, suppose you’re a traveller on a trip to Nairobi. In that case, you can convert any supported currencies to Kenyan Shillings and pay for services directly to M-Pesa, or other mobile money accounts. Grey is the easiest way to send money abroad and between African countries. The company plans to expand into more East African countries in the coming months.
It has included support for Ugandan Shillings on the app, bringing the total number of supported currencies to six. This addition means that Grey customers in Nigeria and Kenya can send money to mobile money accounts in Uganda.
The company has also privately launched Grey Business to several companies. COO Femi Aghedo says, “Sending money worldwide is not just an individual problem; it affects African businesses too. Over the last two months, we’ve onboarded several African businesses to our private beta. Honestly, when I listen to the feedback about how much we’ve simplified a previously complex process, it pushes us to do more.”
Grey’s seed funding round included participation from Y Combinator, Soma Capital, Heirloom Fund, True Culture Fund, angel investors Alan Rutledge, Samvit Ramadurgam, Karthik Ramakrishnan, and other high-profile investors.
According to Obong, with this new round of capital, they plan to launch into new markets and extend their product suite to include not just remittances but also person-to-person and business-to-business payments so every African can enjoy seamless cross-border payments with low fees.