How a Cashew Exporter from Nigeria Managed to Increase Revenue 5x with Silverbird
100%

human support with a deep understanding of international trade, always available to help customers with their questions
0

monthly fees, onboarding fees, deposit requirements
<2 weeks

fast fully digital onboarding and access to online banking services
Context
In 2007, after Abeo got communications degree at King's College London and working as a McKinsey consultant for five years, he decided to join the family-owned business, active in the cashew nut business.

By the time Abeo joined his father, their company — ABUBAKAR EXPORTING GROUP — had just one revenue stream: shipping raw, unprocessed cashews into Vietnam, the largest purchaser in East Asia. But Abeo had ambitious plans for his family business: the idea was to build their own factory to process raw cashew bought from farmers, and export to the US and Europe, where customers would get already edible, processed nuts.

Abeo learned about distribution centers in Europe (Netherlands). He realized that it would be easier to ship processed cashews to distributors, who in turn, would sell the cashew to retail chains, wrapping it in branded packaging. His consulting background made him realize that opening an entity in the UK was the first step towards true internationalization and more credibility with global buyers.

Abeo Abubakar
a Nigerian entrepreneur
Winning the cashew game
I realized that to capture the most margins, you have to diversify, control the entire supply chain and expand shippings the whole world
However, there was just one problem: as a non-UK or EU resident, it turned out to be excruciatingly hard to get a corporate bank account for their business.
Abeo and his company are buying raw, unprocessed cashew in bulk from local villagers
Nobody would open us a bank account
After months of applications and endless stacks of documents, all major banks (Barclay's, HSBC, etc.) declined opening a bank account. Most banks see international exporters as high-risk businesses. Moreover, they typically viewed African countries as high-risk jurisdictions. Others wanted Abeo to come to a local branch for account opening interviews. Without a clear understanding of whether the trip would amount to any success — this was not an option.
Finding the right banking partner to scale the business
Abeo learned about Silverbird from a colleague while at an international trade show.

After looking over Silverbird’s core functionality — having multi-currency business accounts with local EU/UK bank details, 100% online onboarding, and no need for EU/UK address, company registration or VAT registration — he realized that this was the perfect fit.

Abeo especially liked the fact that Silverbird was "designed for international trade".
'Despite the big banks' claims as being business-friendly, — says Abeo, they turned out to be incredibly archaic and, quite frankly, risky for me. I had no guarantees that they wouldn’t just freeze my transactions mid-way
Working side by side with a company designed for free trade
After going through a fully online onboarding process (that took Abeo less than 24 hours), he was thrilled to learn that on top of core functionality, Silverbird offered him:
100% human support
with a deep understanding of international trade, always available to help customers with their questions
Onboarding in 2 weeks
fast fully digital onboarding and access to online banking services
0 monthly fees
onboarding fees, deposit requirements
Individual Approach
much lower international transfer fees
Multi-currency support
truly international coverage and getting paid in local currency thanks to multi-currency support
Results
2
distributors Abeo was able to set up a contract with within two weeks after onboarding with Silverbird. One distributor in the US and another one in the Netherlands. These distributors then re-export their processed cashew to the rest of the US and Europe.
5x
company’s revenue can increase in just several years, trading globally with Silverbird by Abeo’s calculation. Unlike working within his local market or with Vietnam, after switching to Silverbird, his global revenue potential became uncapped.
>80%
of transactions Abeo business deals through Silverbird and has no regrets about choosing it as his primary bank.
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