Popote Payments: Story, Founders, Investors & Funding Rounds
Launched in 2014, Popote launched its primary product, a payment, expense management, and accounting solution called PopotePay, in 2017.
The startup also offers other solutions aligned with its long-term vision to be the world’s leading provider of financial technology-driven solutions that promote team collaboration, mobility, and convenience.
PopotePay allows businesses to link and payout multiple bank accounts or mobile money wallets.
Completed transactions are stored alongside their notes, attachments, authorization history, and accounting general ledger meaning the accounting part is also done.
At the click of a button, records can be retrieved for use in preparing management or audited accounts and the entire process is seamless.
The high rate of failure of African businesses is large as a result of poor expense management or internal funds misappropriation. With PopotePay employees can be empowered without loss of oversight or controls.
It also offers other solutions aligned with its long-term vision to be the world’s leading provider of financial technology-driven solutions that promote team collaboration, mobility, and convenience.
Additionally, Popote is a payments disbursement tool that allows you to make and manage 100% of your payments digitally to mobiles, till numbers, pay bills, and banks both local and international while maintaining management control and accurate accounting records.
How it Works
The recommended process is to:
- Bank all income whether received in Cash, Cheques, Mpesa, etc
- Periodically transfer a lump sum from your bank account into Popote
- Make payments
- Repeat the transfer from time to time when your balance is getting low
The recommended process puts you in better control of your finances because those responsible for requisitioning payments have visibility only of the amount availed and not the bank balance.
Payments made are accounted for on the system so when topping up, one is already certain of exactly how the last funds were utilized.
Additionally, the accounting records on the system can be reviewed anytime or exported to any other accounting solution you may be using.
However, If all income is banked and all expenses paid with Popote, it becomes very simple to derive an accurate P&L.
Records are kept confidential through the system’s viewing rights. Director Admins, Directors, Approvers, and Observers can see all payment records as they are assumed to be high enough within an organization to maintain the information as confidential.
On top of that, creators and employee user types can only see records of payments they created unless granted viewing rights by a director admin or system admin which requires their Password and secret PIN.
Therefore if a creator is responsible for uploading payroll, other creators would not be able to see it before approval nor its records thereafter, unless their rights were changed.
Additionally, their systems and procedures have been tested and certified by a leading global management consultancy with a cyber security department.
Clients are further held by Safaricom inside their trust accounts at CBA and KCB.
Your records including payment details, notes attachments, and all other management & accounting information belong to you, the account holder/s.
Popote stores all records including attachments on the Microsoft cloud and guarantees their availability for at least 7 years from the date of production.
Records shall remain saved and accessible regardless of whether you are using Popote or a white label of it provided by your bank.
Various types of accounts require different types of documentation. The general list of KYCs is MemAts/CR12, KRA PIN, Directors ID & Cert of Incorporation. You will be required to upload KYC which will be specified for your account type.
Additionally, one can add linked accounts & provide separate KYC for each, however, they will access the accounts using the same login credentials for convenience. Each account is a completely separate financial entity.
MPESA Deposits maximum of 10 minutes, Cash deposits take 2-3 hours, Cheque deposits take up to 3 days to clear and RTGS transfers take 2-3 hours if done before the day’s cutoff usually 2 pm, otherwise, it goes to the following day, EFT takes up-to 24 hours.
When a user funds Popote they deposit cash, cheque, or transfer into the designated account at CBA, KCB. The Bank will ask the usual Anti Money Laundering questions for amounts above 1M.
However, if you send funds to the wrong number and you are at a computer, go to the Statement and click on the Voucher number for the particular payment.
This will give you the option to send a request to support. In the notes state that you want the payment reversed.
With continued use of your account, you’re able to access loans as an Overdraft facility on your account. The loan value and interest rate that you qualify for are largely determined by how much you use the application.
Loan applications can only be done via the mobile app & only by the account owner or Director Admin.
You repay the loan by topping up your wallet with the amount before or on the day of the loan’s expiry. A penalty rate will thereafter apply to each day that the loan remains unpaid and it will negatively impact your future ability to borrow.
Popote offers a free Application Program interface (API) that enables integration with other systems.
The customer’s Accounting or ERP system provider is required to perform the integration for which they may levy a charge.
They, therefore, recommend customers start by using Popote with the import/export Excel features rather than integration until the customer is certain on whether they need the integration or not.
To fund your account from the bank requires you to do a transfer into your Popote account via RTGS.
You’ll be required to register for mobile banking with your bank and you’ll then use the security credentials given to you but within the Popote application, to pay out funds from your account.
For those who are multi-banked, you will be able to link several bank accounts to one or several Popote accounts.
Samuel Wanjohi is the CEO and the Founder of Popote Payments.
Investors & Funding Rounds
Popote has raised a funding round from Lagos-based fintech investment company GreenHouse Capital to help it scale.
Popote has now raised funding from GreenHouse Capital, which was founded in 2014 and is now Sub-Saharan Africa’s largest fintech investment fund by portfolio size with 23 startups across eight countries.
The GreenHouse Capital investment in Popote goes beyond capital because GreenHouse will introduce PopotePay and other solutions into the Nigerian market more quickly especially given their fintech domain expertise and relations with banks that the startup aims to work with for distribution.
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