Tech in Africa

Nairobi-based startup OkHi launches in Nigeria

Nairobi-based startup OkHi launches in Nigeria – Ventureburn

A smart addressing startup, based in Nairobi OkHi, has partnered with Africa’s largest banking platform,  Interswitch to launch in Africa’s largest market, Nigeria. 

The partnership aims to assist OkHi’s objective which is to provide 195-million Nigerians with access to a physical address. This will in turn lead to accelerating the eCommerce sector and ensuring financial inclusion.

The launch in Nigeria will reportedly save the economy $2-billion a year and accelerate innovation across the economy.

OkHi partners with Interswitch Group to launch in Nigeria

OkHi is a smart addressing startup. Smart addressing systems allow people to attach a phone number, email address, and their account details to make convenient payments without having to remember account details and the Bank State Branch number. 

The startup addresses the issue of lack of postal addressing infrastructure by utilising a GPS pin that is connected to an individual’s name and phone number. It allows businesses to receive accurate address information to ensure delivery time is not delayed.

In an official press release, Timbo Drayson, CEO, and co-founder of OkHi explains that the partnership will utilise Interswitch’s expertise and technology to increase inclusivity

“OkHi gives addresses not only to places but also to people. From e-commerce businesses to banks and emergency services, our technology enables people to be included in accessing services they need and deserve. We are so excited about the start of our Nigerian journey. With Interswitch, we have a partner and investor whose technology has already had a massive impact on millions of Nigerians. Their expertise and infrastructure will position us to scale country-wide as quickly as possible. COVID-19 is accelerating the digital migration across Africa – people and businesses are more online than ever, while home deliveries have grown exponentially. What’s exciting is we are the infrastructure that enables that migration.” 

The partnership

OkHi recently closed a $1.5-million seed round that was led by Founders Factory Africa, Asian VC Betaron, and Interswitch. 

The partnership between OkHi and Interswitch is a result of the new investment round that accelerates the growth of the company. OkHi’s success in Kenya reduces the cost of delivery by 20% and decreases delivery time by 40%. 

Jonah Adams, Interswitch Group’s Divisional Chief Executive Officer for Industry Vertical Markets comments that the new address verification engine will constantly verify locations that will reduce time, cost, and risk. 

“Our partnership with, and investment into OkHi is premised on their vision and capacity to execute collaboratively, to drive e-commerce growth across key African markets by mitigating the bottlenecks which are stifling growth. Whilst digital payments remain our key focus, we see the bigger picture, identifying opportunities to unlock significant economic value through trusted address verification.” 

The expansion in Nigeria aligns with the startup’s main objective which is to provide the reported 4-billion people without a physical address the opportunity to be included. OkHi believes that having an address is a human right. 

Read more: Uganda startup launches first commercial electric tuk-tuks in East Africa

Read more: Local tech startup bridges language barriers in SA

Featured Image: Timbo Drayson, CEO, and co-founder of OkHi (Supplied)

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