Nigerian fintech Okra nets $1m investment from TLcom


Nigerian fintech platform Okra has secured a $1-million pre-seed investment from Nairobi and London based venture capital (VC) firm TLcom Capital.

Okra, which launched in January, creates a secure portal and process to exchange real-time financial information between customers, applications and banks.

It claims to have developed the first API in Africa to retrieve real-time financial data from a bank account to any web or mobile app.

The startup was founded in June last year by Fara Ashiru Jituboh (pictured above, with co-founder David Peterside), formerly of Fidelity Investments and Canva, who was joined by fellow co-founder David Peterside, from UCML Capital and Fashion Map, according to the company’s LinkedIn profile.

Nigerian fintech Okra was founded in 2019 by Fara Ashiru Jituboh and David Peterside

In a press release today, Okra said the new investment will be used to scale their team and operations as they cater to their growing client base.

The startup said it has the capacity to onboard new clients in under 24 hours, and has seen a 175% rise in demand since last month as more companies digitise their services due to Covid-19 and is seeking to expand across Africa.

Ashiru Jituboh said in the statement: “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 125 million 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.”

‘She leads by example’

The investment in Okra marks TLcom’s first investment in the fintech sector and as part of the deal, Andreata Muforo, Partner at TLcom, will join Okra’s board. Ido Sum, also a partner at the VC firm, will join as a board observer.

TLcom partner Andreata Muforo noted that Ashiru Jituboh has knowledge of over 20 programming languages and has worked with multiple Fortune 500 companies.

“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,” said Muforo.

Featured image (left to right): Okra founders Fara Ashiru Jituboh and David Peterside (Supplied)



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