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DEAL: Nigerian startup, Pastel raises $5.5 million seed round to expand product offerings

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Pastel, a Nigerian digital bookkeeping and digital platform for merchants has raised $5.5 million seed round. The funding is to be deployed to expand its product offerings and develop more productivity and finance management features and tools around group savings, loans and payments for small businesses.

The seed raising was led by pan-African venture capital firm TLcom Capital. Other VC firms such as Global Founders Capital (GFC), Golden Palm Investments, DFS Labs, Ulu Ventures, Plug and Play, and Soma Cap also participated in the seed round.

The startup raised a $620,000 pre-seed last year from some of its existing investors.

Formerly Sabi Cash, Pastel was founded by Abuzar Royesh, Olamide Oladeji and Izunna Okonkwo, Stanford graduate students who shared similar interests in building solutions for micro and SMBs in emerging markets, particularly from their countries of origin: Afghanistan (Royesh) and Nigeria (Oladeji and Okonkwo).

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The company’s flagship product, Sabi is a digital bookkeeping app that allows small businesses to monitor and manage their transactions and customers, get insights into their cashflows, issue receipts, and effectively manage customers who owe them.

What they are saying

  • Commenting on the fundraise, Patel co-founder, Okonkwo said: “As a team, we are taking a product-led growth approach where we iterate after doing massive amounts of research into how users are using the solutions and what they are asking for. The new capital will assist us in increasing our efforts in this area as we look to expand our product offerings and develop more productivity and finance management features and tools around group savings, loans and payments for small businesses.”
  • On the company’s product, Okonkwo said: “Our thought process was as soon as we got traction, the next step was to capture some value. So we added features to the Sabi app and what we’re building now is a little bit more.”
  • “The way we’ve thought about it is, as opposed to creating a super app that a lot of other fintechs have or are in pursuit of, we are taking a more platform approach, meaning that any Pastel user can sign up with any of our apps with the same login and access all of the other solutions that we’re providing,” he added.
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Outrage as Ezendigbo of Ibadanland confers chieftaincy title on Olubadan

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There has been an uproar as a self-titled Ezendigbo of Ibadan land and Oyo state, Alex Anozie, conferred an Igbo chieftaincy title of Ezi ogo ukwu Ndigbo on the Olubadan of Ibadan land, His Imperial Majesty, Oba Senator Lekan Balogun.

Anozie, who conferred the award recently in Ibadan, explained that Ndigbo on January 29, 2023 made history by gathering together to launch their almanac besides using the opportunity to honour their beloved great in-law, His Imperial Majesty, Kabiyesi Olubadan, with an Igbo title, which means a very good and great in-law of Ndigbo.

He recalled that on December 4,2022 during their Igbo day celebration at Liberty stadium, Ibadan, Ndigbo conferred on their daughter, Her Imperial Majesty, Joyce Balogun with an Igbo Chieftaincy title of Ada Oma Ndigbo nala Ibadan and Oyo state.

Anozie observed that Kabiyesi Olubadan is married to one of their beautiful daughters of Igbo origin from Onitsha adding that the marriage is wonderfully blessed with beautiful children while the couple are living together peacefully all these years as husband and wife.

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“With the authority conferred on me by my people Ndigbo in Ibadan and Oyo state since the year 1997, I hereby confer this title on our dear Imperial majesty, Oba Lekan Balogun”, he declared, “Everything we can do to keep moving on with the peaceful and progressive manner Ndigbo and Ibadan people and indeed Yoruba have been living together in Nigeria, we shall continue to do and encourage.”

However, this didn’t not sit well with Yoruba scholars and elders as such title was seen as an insult on the throne of Olubadan and the Yoruba race in general. Many were of the opinion that the self acclaimed Igbo king, a guest in Ibadan, overstepped his boundary by giving a title to the Olubadan kingdom, his host.

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“Àyà gbàngbà nílé onílé, hábà . Àlejò conferring a title on the King on his own land! This shows how stupid we appear to have become! A mà wá r’ógo o. They are playing politics here but it is rude and we have to separate issues and disallow our revered Oba being disrespected. Ọba kii joyè n’ilẹ̀ tiwa. Nobody can confer Chieftaincy title on any of our Ọbas no matter how tiny his town his. This lady should be scolded and made to publicly denounce this nonsense and apologise to Kábíyèsí,” one wrote.

“Abomination. Even a prince don’t take chieftancy title from other king,” wrote another.

“One “Anozie confers chieftaincy title on Olubadan.” Meaning an Anozie (whoever he may be & wherever he may be from) conferred a chieftaincy title on the paramount ruler of Ibadan! Other than the audacity, it is even procedurally and ethically unheard of, for a paramount ruler (equivalent to a King) to now be subjected to the indignity of being regarded as a lesser Chief of whoever! Abomination buruku niyen now! That’s the height of indignity that can be visited on a King! Abi after King, wetin remain?! Conferring our Olubadan with another minor chieftaincy title is akin to subjugation. The “conferer” has essentially assumed authority over the “conferee”. It’s simple!

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“That someone would even think of doing it is one thing, that the person now actually has the gut and effrontery to actualise it is quite galling. Arinfin gba niyen! It is the worst of slight and an affront to the Stool.

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“How do you demote a paramount ruler (King) like Olubadan and now call him one of your chiefs?!

“There was and is nothing noble behind that intention! It was a deliberate act of mischief calculated to ridicule the symbol of the people of Ibadan. Plain and simple!

“Where else have you heard of such ridiculous conferment?! What is bad is bad please.

“If the Olubadan can’t run the culprit out of Ibadan, let him at least reject such brazen insult with extreme prejudice! Arrant Nonsense!” a lawyer submitted.

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“Èèmọ̀!” wrote one indignantly.

While response is being awaited from the Olubadan palace over the development, the Yoruba people are concerned about the implication of allowing such action to go unpunished.

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Standard Chartered executives visit Wema Bank (Photo)

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From left to right: MD/CEO, Wema Bank Plc, Moruf Oseni, Executive Director, Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria, Olukorede Adenowo and Deputy Managing Director, Wema Bank Plc, Wole Akinleye, during a courtesy visit, to discuss business opportunities between both financial institutions, at the Wema Bank Towers this week.

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“If No Be Because Of Your Papa, Who Sabi You” — Peter PSquare Drags Seun Kuti

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Peter PSquare drags Seun Kuti, says nobody would know him if not because of his father.

Nigerian music star Peter Okoye of the duo PSquare has called out singer Seun Kuti on his social media.

In the past few hours, Peter Okoye and Seun Kuti got into a social media clash over the upcoming elections in Nigeria.

One of Peter’s posts that has got people’s attention, however, is that where he mentioned that nobody would know Seun without his father, the legendary Fela Kuti.

‘If no be because of your papa, Abeg who Sabi you?’, Peter writes.

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See his post below:

In another post, he said Seun needs to learn how to comport himself from his nephew Made Kuti.

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