Nigeria-based fintech startup Okra has raised around $1 million in its pre-seed funding round led by TLcom Capital, the media reported.
The funding will be used by Okra to boost its infrastructure development and establish itself as a leader in the Nigerian fintech landscape.
The startup possesses the capacity to add clients to its portal within 24 hours. So far, it has already connected with all of Nigeria’s commercial banks as well as the likes of Branch, AIICO Insurance PLC, Travelstart, Bamboo, Renmoney, and Swipe.
With regard to the funding, co-founder of Okra, Fara Ashiru Jituboh told the media, “Our thesis is simple — financial innovation cannot exist without the proper infrastructure, which is data. Essentially, how far the African fintech sector can grow is intrinsically tied to the success of an infrastructure like Okra and with our core market in Nigeria, we’re opening the door to another level of innovation in Africa’s largest market,” said Jituboh.
“There are approximately 125 million bank accounts in Nigeria alone – but over the course of the next two years, we will see that figure rise exponentially, which presents huge opportunities for growth. Our role within this is to deliver ease, speed, and transparency to key players within the fintech space so they can get back to driving our continent forward.”
Established in January 2020 by Fara Ashiru Jituboh and David Peterside, the startup recorded a 175 percent rise in demand since March as the coronavirus pandemic has given digitalisation a significant boost.
Reportedly, Okra is also Africa’s first API “super-connector” and is developing the infrastructure for Africa’s next stage of fintech innovation.
In 2019, Nigerian fintech startups attracted investment worth $122 million, according to the 2019 African Tech Startups Funding Report.