Nigerian fintech startup, Okra, raises $1m pre-seed funding from TLcom Capital

by | Apr 27, 2020

Nigerian fintech platform, Okra, has raised a $1 million pre-seed investment from Lagos, Nairobi, and London-based venture capital firm, TLcom Capital.

Launched in January, Okra creates a secure portal and process to exchange financial information back and forth between customer, applications, and banks.

The startup claims to be the “first API in Africa to retrieve real-time financial data from a bank account to any web or mobile app.”

Okra was founded by Fara Ashiru Jituboh and David Peterside in June 2019.

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Fara Ashiru Jituboh (CEO & CTO) and David Peterside (COO)

As CEO and CTO of the startup, Jituboh says “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 infrastructure like Okra.

“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.”

In this line, the investment will be used to scale operations while expanding the team to cater to an ever-growing clientele, one the startup says has increased by 175% since last month as more companies try to digitise their services due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Also, the startup plans to expand its offerings to other African markets but at the moment, wouldn’t say where or when this will happen.

So far, the startup has made some impressive feats and according to its website, Okra has connected its API with 17 commercial banks in Nigeria and also other companies like Renmoney, Bamboo, Wakanow, AIICO Insurance, Branch, among others.

This investment marks TLCom Capital’s first investment in the fintech sector and as part of the deal, Andreata Muforo, Partner at the VC firm, will join Okra’s board.

She said Jituboh’s background was key in making the investment as Jituboh is an expert in multiple programming languages and has worked with a handful of Fortune 500 companies over the course of her career.

“She leads by example and we have seen her and David build a really exciting business, in a little under a year, we’re excited to help them grow further,” she said.

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