OkHi secures $1.5 million seed extension to address Africa’s smart address verification issues

OkHi has raised $1.5 million seed extension to address smart address verification issues in Africa.

OkHi secures $1.5 million seed extension to address Africa’s smart address verification issues

OkHi has raised a $1.5 million seed extension to address smart address verification issues in Africa.

After raising a $1.5 million seed fund in 2020, the smart addressing startup has raised a $1.5 million seed extension bringing the total of its seed funding to $3 million.

The extension round had new and existing investors such as Founders Factory Africa, Betatron, Interswitch, Chapel Hill Denham, and Flutterwave executives; other investors include EXFI (a syndicate of ex-Google employees) and Flutterwave Founder, Olugbenga Agboola.

OkHi has developed the only smart address verification service in the world 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 a customer's doors. Today, there are OkHi addresses in 54 countries around the world proving their platform is ready to scale.

With this new investment, OkHi will be able to achieve its 2022 goal of verifying the addresses of more than one million people in Nigeria, which will facilitate better access to financial services, as well as more efficient delivery services. The company will invest the new capital to hire global talent across sales, product and engineering to meet increased demand emanating from the financial services sector.

It will will also enable OkHi to enhance its workforce — mainly remote with staff in Nigeria, Ethiopia, Kenya and London — as it looks to hire aggressively across engineering, sales, products and engineering to drive consumer and B2B growth.

Founded in 2014 by Timbo Drayson, OkHi's products allow banks, fintechs and businesses to collect and verify customers’ addresses through their smartphones, replacing the need for utility bills and in-person interactions. The company claims that it is the only smart address verification service globally with this smartphone feature.

Currently, the startup intends to collaborate with 15 other banks and fintechs, with plans to roll out with them in the coming months, said Drayson revealed. He also mentioned that OkHi would provide its address verification and collection services for industries such as last-mile delivery, e-commerce, food delivery and emergency services in a bid to diversify its clientele.

OkHi has three products — OkCollect, OkVerify, and OkGo — covering these functions. OkCollect uses a photo and GPS to verify addresses; OkVerify uses data from a customer's phone, while OkGo serves as a Google Maps of sorts, enabling anyone to navigate OkHi addresses.