Vella Finance to stop crypto trading and focus on SME banking

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Fintech Vella is stopping all crypto-based operations to be able to support small and medium enterprises.

Vella Finance is dropping its crypto-based offerings to focus on SME banking. In an email to users and subscribers on Monday, October 23, the fintech announced that they would be shutting down all crypto-based services on Monday, October 30.

Launched in 2021, Vella’s focus was to enable crypto-spending in Africa and provide infrastructure for businesses to collect payments globally. Though the fintech already has products that service small businesses, it’s ceasing all crypto-based operations — trading, deposits and wallets, fiat and crypto swaps, and crypto — to focus on providing end-to-end business solutions for small and medium enterprises in Africa. In a conversation with TechCabal, Tolu Adedayo, co-founder of Vella, cites business decisions as the main reason for the conclusion. 

“We’re going fully into SME Banking. Banking requires playing in regulatory confines. We already serve businesses from the onset backed by user and transactional data. It just makes sense to offer an end-to-end banking system to better serve them. It’s a business decision; there’s no way we will run banking and crypto together,” he said.

Vella to focus on SME

One of Vella’s prominent products is Launch by Vella, a service that allows small businesses to register with the Corporate Affairs Commission for a fee of N18,000 ($14). According to Adedayo, the switch was also informed by a drive to fulfil the needs of SMEs. 

Adebayo told TechCabal that, “A good number of the SMEs driving Nigeria’s GDP are informal and are financially underserved. What we do at Vella is help them formalise via Launch by Vella, give them instant business bank accounts, and provide them with payment infrastructure to enable payment collections locally on their websites/online stores. Vella also allows them to create invoices and payment links for free.”

Alongside these existing features, the fintech will launch new features in its new business model to cater to these needs. 

“We will be announcing new features in the coming weeks that solidify our full entrance into the business banking space,” Adedayo added. 

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