Smart addressing startup OkHi has secured a US$1.5 million seed extension, bringing the total of its seed funding to US$3 million, to support the rollout of its address verification technology in Nigeria, with the goal of increasing efficiency across key sectors of the economy.
Founded in Kenya in 2014, OkHi provides digital address verification to financial services, creating the world’s next-generation addressing system to tackle the physical addressing challenge that affects half the world and costs businesses an estimated US$200 billion a year.
The startup launched in Nigeria last year, having banked some seed funding in 2020, and it has now added the that raise with a further US$1.5 million. New investors include Chapel Hill Denham, Flutterwave’s founder and executives, and EXFI (a syndicate of ex-Googlers). They join existing investors such as Founders Factory Africa, Betatron, and Interswitch Group.
With the new funds, 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.
“At OkHi, we believe a physical address is a human right. It empowers a person to prove where they live so that they can open a bank account, get a delivery to their door and trust an ambulance to find them,” said Timbo Drayson, OkHi’s founder and CEO. “OkHi’s goal in Nigeria is to demonstrate to the world how a smart addressing system should work. Once we’ve achieved that, we intend to scale to every other emerging market.”
“I am very excited to invest in OkHi and to join its board. OkHi has the rare opportunity to truly impact half the world and its economy while building a viable business. The founders and leadership team have the grit, determination, and skills to achieve their mission, and I am pleased to be part of their journey,” said Bolaji Balogun, CEO of Chapel Hill Denham.