Kenyan start-up, OkHi, has raised KSh 193 million (about $1.78 million) in a recent funding round by London’s Angel Investment Network.
The startup has developed a digital addressing system for emerging markets and will use the finances to expand its reach in African countries as well as hire more staff.
Co-founded in 2014 by Timbo Drayson, who while at Google led the launch of Google Maps across emerging markets and built Chromecast, the Nairobi-based OkHi has developed technology that enables any business to collect an accurate address from their customer, verify it, and navigate to it.
Speaking on the funding, OkHi CEO Timbo Drayson said: “A physical address should be a human right. Whether it’s opening up a bank account or getting an ambulance to your door, every person on this planet deserves access to these services. This raise is a vital stepping stone to unlock our growth into Nigeria as well as explore new markets across Africa, Middle East and Asia.”
The six-year-old startup is trying to solve the physical addressing system in emerging markets to allow access to essential services like banking and ambulance services which require physical addresses. OkHi CEO says that around 4 billion people globally lack physical addresses, which is a crucial component of identification.
The startup backed by Airbnb co-founder Nate Blecharczyk and Twitter Chairman Patrick Pichette uses its geolocation technology to drive business decisions that require knowledge of customer locations, as well as support delivery services for businesses. It is looking to cut pick up time by 19% and boost delivery trips by 10%.
Ed Stephens, who led the raise for the Angel Investment Network, said OkHi had ticked many boxes for the network’s investors, who really bought into the company’s mission.
“We were inundated with interest with more than 180 inquiries on the table. OkHi’s digital infrastructure helps to answer a genuine need for people without a formal address to get access to services that can help transform their lives,” he said.
“The team’s credentials were impeccable in their experience as entrepreneurs, so we look forward to seeing the huge success of this company as it grows to help millions of people across the globe get better access to services.”
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