Nigerian Fintech Shakeup: Carbon Acquires Vella in SME Power Play

Vella Finance has made a name for itself by delivering comprehensive solutions ranging from cross-border payments to business loans.

Nigerian digital bank Carbon aims to offer advanced, accessible products tailored to the economic segment, utilizing Vella Finance’s specialized infrastructure and AI-powered insights in line with its strategic plan.

Founded by Mark Afolabi, Segun Fagbami, Tolu Adedayo, and Gabriel Ajenifuja, Vella Finance has made a name for itself by delivering comprehensive solutions ranging from cross-border payments to business loans. Its data-driven approach, including personalized recommendations, has enabled companies to better manage their finances and make informed strategic decisions.

Chijioke Dozie, co-founder of Carbon, emphasized that the acquisition underscores the company’s commitment to revolutionizing finance through technology. He praised Vella’s innovative use of AI in understanding SME needs, highlighting the strategic synergy between the two entities.

Mark Afolabi, CEO of Vella Finance, expressed optimism about the merger, stating that joining forces with Carbon would empower more businesses, particularly during challenging economic times. The combined capabilities of the two companies promise integrated platforms offering actionable analytics, affordable credit, and solutions tailored to the unique challenges faced by SMEs.

As part of the transition process, Vella Finance will migrate its existing customers to Carbon Business accounts in the coming weeks, ensuring a seamless experience for users. Individual customers will also have the opportunity to upgrade to the new business-centric offerings seamlessly.

The acquisition coincides with Carbon’s launch of a dedicated AI-based platform for SME banking, reflecting its commitment to leveraging technology to drive financial inclusion. Ngozi Dozie, co-founder of Carbon, highlighted the platform’s advanced internal analytics, which will provide clients with valuable insights and a competitive edge in the market.

One of the platform’s standout features is its AI-driven transaction analysis, which offers strategic advice to small businesses based on their financial data. This, coupled with access to credit at below-average interest rates, aims to alleviate cash flow constraints and facilitate business growth.

The platform also simplifies accounting processes through sub-accounts and preset allocation rules, while collaboration tools enable effective team-based account management. Its seamless integration with existing systems ensures a smooth transition for users.

Overall, the acquisition of Vella Finance represents a strategic move for Carbon as it expands its offerings and solidifies its position in Nigeria’s digital banking landscape. By tapping into Vella’s domain expertise and embracing AI-driven solutions, Carbon is well-positioned to meet the evolving needs of SMEs and drive financial inclusion across the country.