The Accra based tech startup, OZÉ, reports, it has raised US$700,000 led by Anorak Ventures and Matuca Sarl. The fintech startup helps small businesses in Africa grow their operations by digitizing and providing them with access to capital.
What the fund is to be used for?
In Ghana and in most other Africa countries, access to capital for small and medium scale enterprises is a struggle. Much that the MSME credit gap in Sub-Saharan Africa is pegged at US$331 billion which means many African lenders are missing out on close to US$80 billion in annual interest income, simply because lending to these category of businesses is tough.
The challenges with small businesses in the African market
Sadly, a number still keep records on papers, they have no formal business education, not only that, one cannot find any credit history, they have weak or no collateral, and their operations are quite opaque.
OZÉ comes into the scene with its award-winning business app and proprietary credit risk algorithm, making it profitable for banks to make no-collateral loans to MSMEs.
For the co-founder and CEO of the tech company, Meghan McCormick, their OZÉ Flywheel makes it profitable for banks to lend to MSMEs. She goes on to say that,
“Using OZÉ already screens for the type of entrepreneurs banks should want to lend to and as entrepreneurs keep using OZÉ they can access more funds at a lower risk to the bank.”
What we know is that, their OZÉ Business App makes keeping financial records habit-forming in a more fun way. Remarkably, its users earn gold coins when they track sales and expenses, send digital receipts and invoices.
They also remind customers to pay what they owe, simply from their smartphones. There is a business dashboard which shows how the business is trending and have made available a business coach who is just a click away.
Since it launched its beta app in 2018, a growing number of active users and paying subscribers have recorded more than 250,000 transactions in the app with a value of more than US$50 million. OZÉ says it piloted a small loan portfolio in 2020, with no defaults and had a projected annual 43% ROI (return on investment).
Dave Emnet, a co-founder and COO, in a press release said, he was super excited about the next stage of OZÉ, adding that, they were integrating with Paystack and other PSPs (payment service providers) to allow for SMEs accept and send payments through the app as well as partner with more financial institutions to expand on the success of OZÉ’s approach to lending.
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Curacel: Insurtech Startup Secures $450K Pre-seed Funding Led by Atlantica Ventures & Consonance
The insurtech startup, Curacel, an AI-powered platform for claims processing and fraud management in Africa, reports that it has raised $450,000 pre-seed funding in a round that was led by Atlantica Ventures and Consonance with participation from Kepple Ventures and other African angel investors.
The insurtech startup already works with some of the biggest insurers on the continent, including AXA Mansard, Liberty Health and Old Mutual, as well as more than 800 hospitals in Nigeria, Ghana, and Uganda. It plans to expand into 10 new African countries by the end of 2021.
Every year, African insurers lose more than $12 billion to fraudulent, wasteful, and abusive claims. Curacel’s flagship CLAIMS platform acts as a bridge between primary care hospitals and Africa’s insurance companies, using advanced artificial intelligence to ensure that insurance companies only pay claims for the correct treatment, appropriate medications and recommended patient therapies.
Curacel is also scheduled to launch Curacel Capital, a cash advance product that makes it easier for healthcare providers to access working capital to mitigate financial challenges. Delayed payments and other inefficiencies in the payment process means many African healthcare providers often have to make the difficult choice between keeping the books balanced or providing healthcare at a loss. With Curacel Capital, healthcare providers can access lump sums of up to three times their average monthly billings, based on claims processed on the Curacel portal, ensuring that they can continue to deliver essential services without undue disruption.
With insurance penetration at just 2.8% across the continent, many Africans are one accident or health emergency away from poverty. And in Africa’s communal societies, tragedy impacts entire communities, with people emptying their savings to pay for medical expenses, burials or other disaster relief for family members and kin. By leveraging Curacel’s products and services, insurers across the continent are better equipped to close the insurance gap and safeguard prosperity.
According to Curacel Co-founder and CEO, Henry Mascot, in a press statement said,
“We are excited to have these investors on board and we are looking forward to partnering with them to drive our vision of improving insurance inclusion across Africa.”
At Curacel he shares, they are uniquely positioned to safeguard livelihoods and increase the quality of life through their unique, market-leading products and services.
IK Kanu, Partner at Atlantica Ventures noted that,
“The African insurance market represents a significant growth opportunity and we are delighted to be partnering with Curacel to drive growth in this sector. There is an opportunity to create an entirely new market of products and services here and we look forward to supporting the team to improve health outcomes across the continent.”
Finally, Mobolaji Adeoye, the Managing Partner at Consonance adds that they believe the Curacel team has what it takes to be market leaders and are therefore excited to support them. Also stressing that they have a great product and equally delighted to be coming onboard at this early stage of their growth.
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