Blue-collar startup receives seed funding

10 Apr 2018

A Lagos-based online marketplace for hiring handymen and artisans iFixng.com has raised $50,000 in seed investment from an angel investor Yomi Martins.

A local technology blog Techpoint.ng reported that founder and CEO Okonkwo Gerald (LinkedIn profile) confirmed and announced the deal. He said the new cash will be used to drive growth in the number of employers, handymen and artisans signed up on the platform, and drive expansion to another city, Abuja.

“This is a step in the right direction,” Gerald said.  “We believe it’s time to increase our customer and artisan base to enable us to extend our services to individuals across boards who find it extremely difficult to find these handymen for repairs or installations in Lagos and other cities.”

Since launching September 2016, iFixng has more than 500 corporate and individual employers signed up. It lists 313 service providers — including plumbers, electricians, carpenters, etc — and has processed over 251 service orders.

When users place requests for services, iFixng matches them with the best candidate for the job, at no charge. Candidates have all gone through internal training and background checks.  The job description and payment negotiation are communicated directly between the service provider and user, and payment is made directly to the former. iFixng’s temporary free model is to attract users to the site.

Blue-collar service providers in Nigeria are often people with little or no formal education without bank accounts. The site has thus partnered with a local lender Heritage Bank to bank all unbanked artisans on-boarded on its site. The company will be able to earn commissions from services paid into accounts of these handymen and artisans.

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Adegoke Seun

Adegoke Seun Oyeniyi is a business intelligence and media consultant specialized in helping foreign companies understand or penetrate African markets. He is also an award-winning business writer with Ashoka Scholar and 2016 Media Prize to his credit. He is the AIMGroup West Africa analyst covering major markets like Nigeria, Senegal and Ghana.