OZÉ raises $3M pre-Series A round.
The Ghanaian fintech startup provides medium and small firms with digital recordkeeping tools which include embedded financing products.
Cathay AfricInvest Innovation Fund, Savannah Capital, and other unnamed angel investors participated in the startup’s latest funding round, which was led by European early-stage VC Speedinvest.
This development comes after OZÉ received $700,000 seed funding last year.
Several other startups that provide finance, bookkeeping tools, and an operating system to handle small and medium businesses’ operations have grown dramatically in the last 18 months. Some of them are Kippa, Bumpa, and Sabi Cash.
Following a series of visits around Africa by McCormick, who observed the issues small businesses confront and their critical need for financial and recordkeeping tools to grow, CEO Meghan McCormick and chief operating officer Dave Emnett founded OZÉ in 2018.
OZÉ business software assists medium and small enterprises in keeping track of revenues, expenses, payables, receivables, and client information.
This information is evaluated to give organizations customized recommendations, reports, daily business tips, monthly business seminars, and on-demand access to a business coach.
OZÉ gathers performance and behavioural data based on how businesses use the platform, which it uses to identify credit risks and develop alternative credit scores.
The company collaborates with financial institutions (banks and fintechs) to provide loans to businesses in need.
“Loans made using the platform can be collateral-free, larger, and paid back over a longer-term without raising risk,” the company stated in a statement.
Credit and recordkeeping services are provided by similar systems, but McCormick swiftly points out what sets her organization apart.
“I believe that the close integration between record keeping, credit, and now payments are significant competitive features in terms of the business model that we can operate.”
“And it sets off a flywheel in a manner that simply being a record keeper and firm or simply being a digital lender wouldn’t,” the CEO explained.
“The majority of small firms are aware that they should retain records. However, retaining any records, digital or not, is a change in behavior. As a result, we’ve put a solid behavioural science foundation inside our software to help OZÉ become habit-forming.”
Because of OZÉ’s position as a coach, partner, and advisor to the businesses on its platform, they have access to a network of other business owners with whom they may learn, grow, and do business.
She explained that the platform is attempting to implement the concept of making accounting social.
On the credit side, OZÉ can use cash-based performance data from businesses to provide better loans by gaining psychological insight into automatically recorded transactions.
The number of active monthly users on OZÉ increased by 1,200 percent last year. From Q3 to Q4 of 2021, the number of loans given on the platform climbed by 200 percent, according to the business.
According to OZÉ, 97 percent of business owners who use the platform have growing, successful, or both businesses.
Following its recent fundraising, OZÉ will expand its team, attract more clients, deepen its foothold in Ghana and Nigeria, and initiate development plans into new African markets, according to McCormick.