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Ghanaian fintech OZÉ provides bookkeeping tools for business owners to understand and improve their performance as well as access to capital to fuel growth. The company revealed that it raised $3 million in an oversubscribed pre-Series A funding round led by Speedinvest.
OZÉ has a client base of more than 125,000 business owners in Ghana and Nigeria
AfricInvest Innovation Fund and the Savannah Fund also participated alongside angel investors with the funding helping the company to expand the capabilities of its platform and increase access to affordable finance in Ghana and Nigeria through its partnerships with well-known commercial banks.
“The last decade has seen a huge transformation in the digitization of business,” explains OZÉ COO Dave Emnett. “Accelerated by the pandemic, we are now seeing an even greater demand for solutions to financial challenges like accepting payments, understanding cash positions, and securing loans to increase stock for busy periods.”
Business owners use the platform to record transactions, stay on top of receivables, get paid by their customers, access business coaching, and can apply for a loan right in the app. Competition in this space is limited. Other platforms offer single services, but OZÉ’s integrated approach fosters real growth; 97 percent of business owners using the platform run businesses that are growing, profitable, or both.
It also provides the company with a proprietary data set of performance and behavioural data giving the company a competitive advantage in understanding and scoring a company’s credit risk.
In 2021 the number of active users on the platform grew by 1 200 percent and the number of loans granted swelled by 200 percent from quarter three to quarter four.
“During grad school at MIT, I was flying back and forth between Cambridge and Ghana. One day I would be buying things at the market, the next – sitting in a lecture theatre with the technologists building the future of finance,” recalls co-founder and CEO Meghan McCormick.
“Straddling both worlds has allowed us to build a platform that leverages advanced technologies and maintains a deep understanding of customer needs on the ground. Our role is to build a platform that works for 100 million-plus businesses today and supports the creation of the future of commerce in Africa.”
OZÉ has grown into a primary source of true data on the health of a business, opening the door to an incredibly versatile product set and roadmap that includes catalog and inventory management, business insurance, and online sales management for previously offline businesses.
The company vision on a macro-level goes far beyond your traditional cashbook features.
As the business helping these companies make the transition into the digital era, it plays an important role in advising these businesses and influencing the choices they make going forward.
“There has been a lot of interest in the digitization of SMEs in Africa over the last year. We have also observed the space carefully as we believe that there is tremendous potential in building the financial operating systems for African SMEs,” says Speedinvest principal Philip Specht.
“We are extremely excited to partner with the OZÉ team as we believe they have the right leadership and strategy in place to build the strongest platform in this market.”
The team is committed to building more solutions in collaboration with business owners and expanding into more African territories.
Featured image supplied by OZÉ