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Nigerian fintech startup, Brass to temporarily disengage workers, blames economic downturn 

Fintech company, Brass, has announced plans to temporarily disengage an unspecified number of its staff in the coming days citing the current economic realities as the cause. 

The company’s CEO, Sola Akindolu announced the move on Monday.  Akindolu said the startup launched about four years ago had raised $2 million over the period to build and grow through the changing times.  

However, he said the current economic realities have made things difficult, impacting its plans.  

Per its LinkedIn profile, Brass currently has about 50 employees. It is unclear yet how many of these will be furloughed.  

Stating how the downturn in the economy has impacted the company and led to its decision to disengage some of the company’s staff, Akindolu said:  

Akindolu added that the company would continue to provide impacted workers with health insurance coverage and other benefits during the trying times until it can bring them back to work with the company.  

The Brass CEO said the company’s employee experience lead, alongside co-founder and CTO, will be leading the process with one-on-one calls and ensuring the company provides every kind of support to everyone impacted. 

Brass is a Nigerian fintech addressing the payment challenge of small enterprises in Nigeria by providing them with the full suite of financial services needed to scale their operations. 

Sola Akindolu and Emmanuel Okeke founded Brass in July 2020. Before Brass, CEO Akindolu was the head of product at YC-backed Kudi, while CTO Okeke was an engineering manager at Stripe subsidiary Paystack. 

In October 2021, the company secured a $1.7 million funding round to scale its offerings for “local entrepreneurs, traders, and fast-growing businesses.” 

The mission to make banking work for small businesses was one reason why pan-African VC firm Ventures Platform invested in the company, according to its founder and general partner, Kola Aina. 

Other investors include Flutterwave CEO Olugbenga “GB” Agboola, Paystack co-founder Ezra Olubi, Hustle Fund, Acuity Ventures and Uncovered Fund. Previous backers include Olumide Soyombo of Voltron Capital, Leonard Stiegler, and Fola Olatunji-David. 

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