Wednesday, March 09, 2022 / 4:37 p.m. / OkHI press release / Header image credit: TechCrunch
OkHi is raising additional investment to support the rollout of its address verification technology in Nigeria, with the aim of increasing efficiency in key sectors of the economy.
Smart addressing startup, OkHi, has secured a $1.5 million seed extension, bringing its total seed funding to $3 million. This increase is supported by notable companies and individuals who, beyond funding, bring a wealth of expertise to OkHi. New investors include Chapel Hill Denham, founder and executive of Flutterwave, and EXFI (a syndicate of former Googlers), joining existing investors such as Founders Factory Africa, Betatron and Interswitch Group.
“I am very pleased to invest in OkHi and join its Board of Directors. OkHi has the rare opportunity to have a real impact on half the world and its economy while building a viable business. The founders and management team have the courage, determination and skills to achieve their mission, and I am delighted to be part of their journey,” says Bolaji Balogun, CEO of Chapel Hill Denham Bolaji will join the OkHi Board to help the company achieve widespread adoption in Africa.
In many African countries, poor addressing infrastructure is holding back economies by making finding addresses or navigating to addresses extremely difficult and costly. In Nigeria, financial institutions must verify the addresses of their customers to open bank accounts. Either they use utility bills, which most people don’t have, or they send a physical agent to the address, which can take over 3 weeks and cost up to $5. It hinders access to financing.
But the challenge of verifying addresses has a broader impact on the socio-economic environment. According to an OkHi survey of hundreds of Nigerians, 78% said they were required to prove their address to get a job – a concern when over 50% said they had no utility bill. public services and 57% revealed that they had been unable to prove their address in certain situations.
OkHi has developed the world’s only smart address verification service that can verify a person’s address through their smartphone, replacing the need for utility bills and in-person visits. A pilot conducted with Stanbic IBTC showed that OkHi’s address verification product is 30% more accurate, 4x faster and 50% cheaper than the industry standard of sending a physical agent to doorsteps. ‘a customer. Today, there are OkHi addresses in 54 countries around the world, proving that their platform is ready to scale.
With the new funds, OkHi will be able to achieve its 2022 goal of verifying the addresses of over one million people in Nigeria, which will facilitate greater access to financial services, as well as more efficient delivery services. The company will invest the new capital to hire global sales, product and engineering talent to meet growing demand from the financial services industry. “At OkHi, we believe that a physical address is a human right. It allows a person to prove where they live so they can open a bank account, have it delivered to their doorstep, and trust an ambulance to find them,” says Timbo Drayson, Founder and CEO of OkHi. “OkHi’s goal in Nigeria is to demonstrate to the world how a smart addressing system should work. Once we achieve this, we intend to scale to all other emerging markets.”
What sets OkHi apart from other solutions on the market is its focus on people, not places. While other solutions map the physical location of a building, OkHi proves who lives inside the building. The new funds allow OkHi to continue to fulfill its mission to enable the 4 billion people without a physical address to be #included.
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