Kippa users demand access to data as the fintech quietly pivots

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Kippa users demand access to data as the fintech quietly pivots

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For Lanre*, a Lagos-based businessman, the past month has been a nightmare. Unable to access customer data, which he has painstakingly collected over the past two years, he now manually tracks receivables and email addresses of particular customers to whom he wants to send discount codes.

He is one of the reportedly 500,000 business people who used Kippa, a Nigerian fintech app, for bookkeeping, invoicing and the kind of documentation every small business owner needs. Since January 2024, the Kippa app has been inaccessible, leaving the business owners who had come to depend on it without access to critical data like inventory, transactions, debtors, income, expenses, payments, and invoices.

“It had details of all my clients, my sales record, and everything else I needed to assess my profit and loss,” Lanre told TechCabal.

The app has been on autopilot for some time, one person with knowledge of the company’s business told TechCabal, claiming that the Kippa app will soon be taken down from the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store, leaving business owners permanently unable to access their data.

Kippa’s sudden inaccessible bookkeeping platform “is essentially a breach of its obligations” to its customers, Akintunde Agunbiade, a lawyer at Aelex, a Lagos-based firm, told TechCabal, citing Nigeria’s data protection laws.

A screenshot of Kippa’s bookkeeping app

Launched in 2021, Kippa offered small businesses a free-to-use and simplified bookkeeping platform for all their data needs. For many, it was a game changer and a departure from manually keeping business records. But three years after those users had come to rely on the app, they face a reality where such important data is no longer accessible and they want to know if they’ll get that data back. Many others are frustrated at the company’s poor communication.

On a Telegram channel operated by Kippa, more than 2,000 users say they’re still unable to access their data on the app. It’s been like this for a month, but all their messages are met with silence.

“Users have been asking for access to data so they can move to another platform or resume their previous traditional way of managing their books, but no response has been given,” one Kippa user told TechCabal in an email.

“I have been totally blind about my business since Kippa shut down. I don’t know what will happen to my data, if I can get it back, or if it is even secure,” another Kippa user told TechCabal.

At the beginning of the app blackout, Kennedy Ekezie, the company’s CEO, told one customer in a message seen by TechCabal that the problem was a “temporary AWS downtime” that would be resolved quickly. But the company appears to have moved on from fintech and is planning to pivot to edtech, as TechCabal first reported.

The company has not publicly confirmed the pivot or informed users about its decision to move on from fintech. The company’s CEO did not respond to an email from TechCabal seeking comments for this article.

It has been a year of big changes for the Tiger-backed fintech, having shut down Kippa Pay, its agency banking business and Kippa Start, its business registration vertical. It has also significantly reduced its workforce and is putting all its focus on an AI-powered platform that enables users to create online courses using any file format and share them on their preferred messaging platforms.

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We’d like to hear from you. You can contact the authors of this article at muktar@bigcabal.com & ngozi@bigcabal.com. TechCabal protects the confidentiality of its sources.

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