BY TOM JACKSON
Ghana-based fintech startup OZÉ, which is focused on helping small businesses grow by digitising their operations and providing them with access to affordable capital, has closed a US$700,000 seed round to grow its team and expand to Nigeria.
Launched in beta in 2018, OZÉ is a mobile app that helps small businesses record their sales, expenses, payables, and receivables. The platform then aggregates that data to provide context specific recommendations and reports.
Using this data and machine learning, the startup predicts a business’ credit risk and provides it with affordable capital from its banking partners. OZÉ has over 25,000 registered users, with paying subscribers having recorded more than 250,000 transactions with a value of more than US$50 million via the app so far.
In 2020, OZÉ piloted a small loan portfolio, with no defaults and a projected annual 43 per cent return on investment.
The round includes venture funds like Anorak Ventures and Matuca Sarl, and angel groups like Nigeria’s Rising Tide Africa, who join existing investors Ingressive Capital and MEST. OZÉ will use the funding to grow its team, expand to Nigeria, and promote the newly launched iOS version of its business app.
“I couldn’t be more excited about what’s next for OZÉ,” said the startup’s co-founder and chief operating officer (COO) Dave Emnett. “We’re integrating with Paystack and other PSPs to allow our SMEs to accept and send payments through the app and partnering with more financial institutions to expand on the success of OZÉ’s approach to lending.”