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Nigeria's SureBids gets backing from Silicon Valley-based accelerator

Nigeria's SureBids gets backing from Silicon Valley-based accelerator.

Owner of SureGifts & SureRemit to join investment firm and business accelerator 500 Startups.

Nigerian startup, SureBids, has been selected to join the Silicon Valley-based 500 Startups that invests in companies, has a 4-month accelerator program and accelerator investment of US$100k net of fees (or US$125k gross) for 5% of the company.

SureBids owns online gift card company SureGifts and SureRemit, a targeted remittance service created to eliminate all the complexities involved with money transfers.

According to 500 Startups, 46 companies form part of its 18th batch, ranging from traditional B2B tools to a smart pill case that helps track whether or not people are taking their medication.

SureBids' co-founder, Lawal Babafemi, said securing the trust of the 500 Startups team is a validation of all of SureBids' products. "Our most recent product SureRemit will innovate and dominate how remittances is done in Africa."

Fellow co-founder Samuel-Biyi 'Laolu added that the company is joining the accelerator at the same time they are beginning to consider expansion into Africa.

"Our experience has so far been limited to a few markets in Africa. 500 Startups will give us the orientation needed to build the foundations of a successful multi-national. They come with an incredible network of partners and mentors that will ensure that we make fewer mistakes as we experiment and grow," he said.

SureBids was founded by Babafemi, 'Laolu and Adeoye Ojo – former employees of Jumia Nigeria. The startup's primary business assets are proprietary voucher management and redemption technology, in addition to network of merchants.

"We started out purely using those assets to facilitate gifting via vouchers, but our customers started to use those vouchers for other interesting things. We decided to optimise for those use-cases, and that is why we've now built products for things like targeted remittances and credit," Laolu said.

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