A fintech founded by two Nigerians to help Africans send and receive foreign payments has raised $2 million in seed funding. Grey’s service allows its customers to have free virtual international bank accounts and enjoy a smooth foreign payment process.
“Grey was founded in 2021 to empower people to live a location-independent lifestyle,” says Idorenyin Obong, CEO of Grey. “I believe that sending or receiving payments should be the least of your concerns as a freelancer, remote worker, or digital nomad, so we’ve made it simple.”
We like to think of ourselves as being on a mission to make international payments as simple as sending an email. We want to make a difference in how Africa as a continent interacts with money across borders. I am overjoyed that we have amassed a large and fiercely loyal user base.”
Grey allows you to open a free foreign USD, GBP, and EUR bank account, 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 enables users to receive foreign payments in their preferred currency and withdraw them directly to their mobile money or local bank account.
Grey also announced its expansion into East Africa, beginning with Kenya, as well as partnerships with payments giant Cellulant and ed-tech leader Moringa. Traveling to Kenya is much easier with Grey because you can pay vendors using M-pesa directly. Assume you’re a tourist on a trip to Nairobi. In that case, you can convert any supported currency to Kenyan Shillings and pay for services using M-Pesa or another mobile money account.
Grey is the most convenient way to send money outside of Africa. In the coming months, the company intends to expand into additional East African countries. The app now supports Ugandan Shillings, bringing the total number of supported currencies to six. This means that Grey customers in Nigeria and Kenya can now send money to Ugandan mobile money accounts.
Grey Business has also been privately launched to several companies by the company. “Sending money globally is not just an individual problem; it affects African businesses as well,” says COO Femi Aghedo. Several African businesses have joined our private beta in the last two months. To be honest, hearing how much we’ve simplified a previously complex process motivates us to do more.”
Grey’s seed funding round included Y Combinator, Soma Capital, Heirloom Fund, True Culture Fund, and angel investors Alan Rutledge, Samvit Ramadurgam, Karthik Ramakrishnan, and others. According to the CEO, Idorenyin Obong, with this new round of funding, they intend to enter new markets and expand their product suite to include not only remittances but also person-to-person and business-to-business payments, allowing every African to enjoy seamless cross-border payments with low fees.