Three months after its launch, the Nigerian Fintech startup, Okra has secured a $1 million pre-seed investment from TLCom Capital.
Okra is an API which allows clients to retrieve real-time financial information from a bank account to any web or mobile app. The startup says its API is for developers but still promises simplicity.
One of its promises is that, “with a few lines of code, you can implement any of our 5 products in a matter of hours.”
It is a bold promise that has now attracted the interest and funding from TLCom Capital. The $1m pre-seed funding represents TLCom Capital’s first investment in fintech space.
Andreata Muforo, a partner at TLCom believes Okra’s technology will provide a platform for more African fintech solutions.
“We are always looking for startups with the potential for high value-generation and Okra’s technology provides the foundation for new fintech solutions in Africa for years to come.
Equally, it was important for us to know that their leadership had the entrepreneur-led focus which is crucial for execution.”
TLCom’s investment is a continuation of activity in Nigeria’s fintech space in the last two years. Many players in the space have focused on payments and lending and have raised millions to match their ambitions.
Although fintech, Okra is a service like Plaid, and will not directly compete with startups like OPay and Carbon. Instead, it will allow businesses and and consumers interact with with their bank accounts using its product.
Okra’s co-founder and COO, David Peterside says their product will help banks and other fintechs.
Fara Ashiru Jituboh, Okra’s CEO/CTO also stated: “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.”
“There are approximately 125mn banks 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.”