Nigerian startup Raenest is helping remote workers and freelancers automate invoicing and get paid faster by clients globally while saving on fees via its Raenest Global accounts and cards.
With Raenest, businesses can also use the platform to onboard African talents, pay them in their preferred currencies, and manage their team expenses.
Victor Alade has spent most of his life as a remote worker living in Nigeria while working with foreign companies in the United States and United Kingdom. However, getting paid for his work was often more difficult than the work itself, as he would have to manually send invoices and wait days for the international money transfer to be delivered.
He also missed out on several jobs as there were no reliable ways through which he could be compliantly employed and can get paid. Every time he got paid, meanwhile, he was losing 15 per cent of his salary to huge transfer fees and unfavorable exchange rates.
Alade teamed up with Richard Oyome and Sodruldeen Mustapha in late 2021 to build Raenest. Oyome told Disrupt Africa remote and freelancing work was booming in Africa.
“Today, Africa is responsible for 10 per cent of the global digital freelancing markets and is expected to be number one by 2037. The rate of foreign companies paying these African talents is growing more than 800 per cent year-on-year, this is greater than that of other continents combined together,” he said.
“These freelancers and remote workers struggle to receive payment for their gigs and are always juggling between multiple ineffective solutions for contracting invoicing and payments. Africa has the world’s youngest population and is adopting technology rapidly. Many companies face the hurdles of setting paying through international wire transfers which are often delayed and expensive.”
Existing solutions, as Alade had found, were not working for Africans or the companies hiring African talents.
“We built Raenest to solve the problem,” Oyome said. “Raenest provides an effective end-to-end solution for freelancers to get paid faster, and helps them convert at market-leading, real-time rates in multiple currencies with zero fees.”
Launched in March 2021, Raenest now has more than 100,000 employees, independent contractors, freelancers, and creators using its platform. It offers full-time employee and freelancer support in Nigeria, as well as contractor support across Africa. It plans to expand to Ghana, South Africa, Kenya, and Egypt in 2023.
Raenest raised a pre-seed funding round in early-2022 from Ventures Platform, Seedstars, TCVP, Ajim Capital, and other VCs and angels. Meanwhile, last month, the company was also selected to take part in the latest edition of the Techstars Toronto accelerator, securing access to mentorship, US$120,000 in funding and the opportunity to secure further investment at demo day.