21st April, 2021
Nigeria’s fintech firm Okra has announced that it has closed a seed round of $3.5 million to expand its data infrastructure across Nigeria.
U.S.-based Susa Ventures led this latest tranche of investment, TechCrunch reported.
Other investors include TLcom Capital, the sole investor from its $1 million pre-seed round in 2020, Accenture Ventures and some angel investors.
In total, Okra has raised $4.5 million in two rounds.
Okra likes to describe itself as an API “super-connector” that creates a secure portal and process to exchange real-time financial information between customers, applications and banks.
Fara Ashiru Jituboh and David Peterside founded the company in June 2019.
Since its launch in January 2020, Okra has aggressively pushed by connecting to all banks in Nigeria and even claims to have a 99.9% guaranteed uptime.
Its business model provides integrations to developers and businesses into existing banking services and takes commissions off subsequent transactions.
These integrations include accounts authorization, balance, identity, income, payments and transactions. Per partners (developers and businesses), they are well over 100 with some big names like Access Bank, Aella, Interswitch and uLesson.
Ashiru Jituboh tells TechCrunch that besides making APIs, Okra is in the business of selling “digital first-experiences and transformation”.
“We are building an open finance infrastructure that enables developers and businesses to offer digital-first experiences and financial products,” she said.
“We’re at a point where businesses are realizing that digital transformation is one of the most conversation happening in most boardrooms. So for us, we’re essentially just making tools and services needed to achieve digital transformation at scale with our APIs.”
Positioning the company in such a way might be the reason for its immense growth in over a year. The company says it has recorded over 150,000 live API calls noticing an average month-on-month API call growth of 281%.
Okra has also analyzed more than 20 million transactions; last month, it analyzed 27.5% of this figure at over 5.5 million transaction lines.
For a bit of context, Plaid has analyzed more than 10 billion transactions in its eight years of existence.
“I think it’s a good indicator that we’re on the right trajectory in terms of traction,” COO Peterside added