Traditionally, issuing debit cards is a very expensive, slow, and inflexible process reserved as a privilege for only large companies. This means that smaller businesses and startups would not usually have access to this, but things are about to change.
Sudo Africa is offering programmable cards and making it affordable to all types of businesses regardless of their size or revenue level. It enables businesses to build unique features with an open application programming interface (API) and a readily available sandbox environment. This allows them to start issuing physical and virtual cards within days and not months.
Founded in 2020 by co-founders Aminu Bakori and Kabir Shittu, the company from its founders’ frustration from card issuance challenges faced at a previous start-up. The recognition that other founders experienced the same problem deepened their conviction to launch the service.
According to CEO and co-founder Aminu Bakori; “We tried to get customized debit cards at our previous startup and could not believe how incredibly hard the process was. And we decided to fix this major headache for other founders and make sure they never go through the unnecessary strain. It is almost unbelievable but even as I speak to you, we still have not gotten the cards and it has been more than two years.”
With Sudo, any small business can start issuing cards to its staff and customers for different purposes including, but not limited to loyalty programmes for customers, management services for corporate expenses, buy now and pay later schemes for retailers, digital wallets for virtual banks, amongst other use cases.
Kabir Shittu COO and co-founder at Sudo Africa says its biggest advantage is its flexibility and ability to customize solutions to fit the company.
“In terms of pricing, with a flat monthly fee of ₦50,000, companies can get onboarded and create virtual cards as low as ₦50 and physical cards for as low as ₦1,000.”
Sudo Africa recently raised $3.7 million in a pre-seed round, Kabir Shittu says this new funding will be used to enter new markets across Africa, expand the current team, and engineer marketing and growth.
This funding round was led by Global Founders Capital (GFC), other investors are Picus Capital, LoftyInc, RallyCap Ventures, Kepple Africa, Ventures Platform, MSA Capital, Future Africa, BerryWood Capital, ZedCrest, Suya Ventures, and fintech founders from around Africa.