Nigerian fintech startup, Okra 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 businesses and developers to build personalised digital services and financial products for customers. Its API creates a secure portal and process to exchange real-time financial information between customers, applications, and banks.
The company, launched last year by Fara Ashiru Jituboh and David Peterside, billed as Africa’s first API “super-connector” 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 Accenture Ventures.
The capital will be deployed to expand Okra’s data infrastructure across Nigeria. Since its launch, the fintech infrastructure company has provided its services to high-caliber financial institutions, startups, and government agencies, including Interswitch, Access Bank, uLesson, Aella App, and over 100 digital-first platforms. In just under a year, it has seen an average month-on-month API call growth of 281 percent. In addition, the company has analysed over 20 million transactions and analysed more than 5.5M transaction lines in March 2021 alone.
“We build the tools that businesses need to achieve full digital transformation and we are excited to be welcoming some highly strategic global investors as we scale our Open Finance-as-a-Service operations. We are now in a strong position to continue to build and scale in the African, and global API space,” Jituboh said.
Peterside said the companies that will dominate the business landscape over the next decade are prioritising a digital-first experience for their customers today and will leverage data and personalisation to win market share over time.
“We share the same vision on Open Finance in Africa and are excited to be working closely with the team at Susa. Having Accenture Ventures join us at the seed stage speaks volumes about our team’s ability to execute at a global scale,” he said.
Leading the round, San Francisco-based Susa Ventures is known as one of the premium seed-stage funds in Silicon Valley, with notable early investments including Robinhood, Flexport, Andela, and Fast. Susa is also known for co-investing with top-tier firms like Peter Theil’s Founders Fund, Index Ventures, Kleiner Perkins, Google Ventures, General Catalyst, Andreessen Horowitz, and Accel Partners.
“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,” said Seth Berman, general partner at Susa.
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