Okra, Leading Fintech platform and one of Nigeria’s Open Finance (API Economy) pioneers has secured a US$3.5 million seed funding round in order to expand its data infrastructure across the country.
Okra is an Open Finance platform that enables developers and businesses build personalized digital services and fintech products for customers by providing integrations to developers and businesses into existing banking services and taking commissions off subsequent transactions. These integrations include accounts authorization, balance, identity, income, payments and transactions Okra’s API is a one-stop-shop for fintech developers in Africa.
Fara Ashiru Jituboh and David Peterside founded the company in June 2019. Since its launch in January 2020, . The company says it has recorded an average month-on-month API call growth of 281%. Okra has also analyzed more than 20 million transactions; last month, it analyzed 27.5% of this figure at over 5.5 million transaction lines.
One of the significant reasons Okra proves attractive despite just over a year in operation is how it prioritizes speed. The company claims to onboard new clients in 24 hours or less while supporting them through the use cases specific to their product. An increasing clientele that already includes over 100 digital businesses, financial institutions, government agencies, and fintech companies, including Interswitch, Access Bank, uLesson, and Aella App.
Speaking to Techcrunch on growth and expansion, CEO Jituboh said “We want to ensure that we’re solving our customers’ problems as fast as possible and give the clients the support they need. We want to make sure our hiring speed is the same as the speed of our growth and I think being able to raise capital is one of the solvers of that problem… making sure we’re bringing great talent and building a great team,”
The company, billed as Africa’s first API “super-connector”, raised funding from TLcom Capital last April, and has now banked a US$3.5 million seed round led by the US-based Susa Ventures, TLcom Capital is again an investor, while the round also features global consulting firm, Accenture Ventures, investing in an African startup for the first time. Other participating angel investors include Rob Solomon, GoFundMe Chairman; and Arpan Shah and Hongxia Zhong, former founding engineers at Robinhood.
Seth Berman, General Partner at Susa says, “We’re thrilled to partner with Okra as they enable developers across the African continent to transform digital financial services. We’re blown away by the quality of Okra’s team, pace of development, and the excitement from the customers building on their API.”
Omobola Johnson, Senior Partner at TLcom Capital and Former Minister of ICT in Nigeria says, “We have consistently been impressed with Fara’s technical depth and expertise, which when combined with the entrepreneurial acumen she and David bring to the company leaves us confident that they are building Africa’s most stable and robust API infrastructure. TLcom is delighted to continue partnering with Okra.”