In order to improve the financial health of employees in Africa and increase their general welfare and productivity, the Nigerian company Salad has developed an employee financial services solution.
Salad was established in March 2022 by CEO Chikodi Ukaiwe and CTO Seunfunmi Omotunde. In July of that same year, Salad released its MVP to the market. The firm offers employees a variety of financial products as a perk of employment, including the technology to access, save, and manage money.
“For prequalification and to have access to specific employee data, we directly partner with businesses. Employers can increase staff productivity, recruit top talent, and sustain their cash flow by partnering with us, according to Ukaiwe, who spoke to Disrupt Africa.
According to him, the name “Salad” refers to a salad dish that is distinguished by a variety of nutritious elements.
It also implies the phrase “salary advance,” which alludes to the variety of loans and cash advances we offer to our employees. With Salad, we want to establish a system where employees can access their paychecks whenever they need them, savings and wealth-building goods, as well as a variety of other perks that help them live happy, healthy lives free from financial stress, according to Ukaiwe.
Indeed, six out of ten wage earners in Africa are likely to run out of money before their next paycheck, making financial stress one of the major sources of distraction in the workplace. Africa has the lowest labor productivity rates in the world, which are expected to be one-tenth of those in high-income countries, according to a World Bank analysis.
“African employees have little to rely on for financial relief, which leaves them disturbed, distracted, and unable to perform to their full ability. They also have limited access to inexpensive loans to address short- and long-term demands. This ultimately costs employers a ton in lost revenue, excessive turnover, and various other difficulties that limit the expansion of the company, according to Ukaiwe.
“At Salad, we recognized a need to close this gap by giving African wage earners access to the most responsible means of obtaining, using, and storing financial resources. In order to provide low-cost financing, we use exclusive payroll data and our own credit assessment system.
As one of the 12 entrepreneurs in the first cohort of the ARM Labs Lagos Techstars program, the startup has obtained some funding from Techstars. It also just announced a funding round that, according to Ukaiwe, will “supercharge” its growth by expanding its service to 50,000 workers and completing the remaining items on its product roadmap.
How has that development been thus far? Well, Salad has onboarded about 2,000 people within nine months of delivering its MVP, with another 5x in the queue, and is organically increasing by 75% month over month.
In the upcoming months, our services will be made available to employers and employees in all of Nigeria’s states, as well as Ghana and two other markets in East Africa, according to Ukaiwe.
Salad has had to work around the general lack of formal credit data in Africa, which Ukaiwe claimed hinders the ability to make wise lending decisions. Salad generates revenue from transaction fees and interest from its credit products, commissions from third party financial service providers, and net interest income from customer deposits.
“To solve this, we’ve partnered directly with employers to leverage alternative and unique data which we access via our APIs, built to integrate seamlessly into existing business systems,” he said.