Nigerian startup Okra has secured a $1 million pre-seed funding from TLcom, a multi-million dollar venture capital firm.
The firm, which launched its services last June, is an API developer whose product is making inroads in revenue generation. The fintech venture’s product helps raise funds from payment startups as well as traditional financial institutions.
The funding is a boost for the Lagos-based startup. TLcom Capital, though Africa-focused, has rarely invested in early-stage firms or fintech.
Fara Ashiru Jituboh and David Peterside founded Okra in June 2019, and have seen the company grow its reach significantly.
Okra offers a platform from which people can connect their accounts to banking apps, creating a revenue stream for the company. The venture generates its revenues from product fees, which it earns whenever a customer uses their platform to connect a bank account to an application.
Okra targets larger African market
The fintech has had its eyes on Nigeria, one of Africa’s largest financial hubs thanks to a population of over 200 million. Most of the population, as with the rest of Africa, remains underbanked. The Okra team believes their project can build Africa’s largest financial system.
Co-founder Ashiru Jibutoh has noted that what Okra “is building a super-connector API.” According to her, the product will allow people to directly link their bank accounts to third-party apps.
The firm now targets hiring new talent and venturing into new markets on the continent.
Africa’s fintech is the most funded sector in the startup space. Africa-focused VCs and legacy banks are all vying to have a share of the market via financial inclusion projects.
Okra counts payments firm PalmPay, digital lender Renmoney, and insurance provider Axa Mansard among its clients.