OkHi gets $1.5M seed extension to scale its smart address verification service across Africa

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Customers use inefficient processes like utility bills or send physical agents to the address, both lengthy and costly procedures. But the challenge of address verification has a broader impact on the socio-economic environment.

According to a survey conducted by OkHi, a smart addressing startup on hundreds of Nigerians, 78% stated they were required to prove their address to get a job. In addition, 50% said they did not have a utility bill and 57% revealed they could not verify their address in certain situations.

OkHi is tackling these challenges in Nigeria with its technology and has raised a $1.5 million seed extension to scale its efforts. The round brings its total seed raise to $3 million.

Timbo Drayson founded the company in 2014. Its 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.

As a product manager at Google for seven years in London and the U.S., Drayson was part of the team that launched Google Maps across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. He first came across the addressing challenge, particularly around the team’s work in Africa. But it wasn’t until after taking a sabbatical and traveling across the continent’s east and west regions that he decided to take the next step of solving it.

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