Okra, an open finance startup, is one of the few Nigerian API services that provides real-time access to financial data. The startup has raised a total of $16.5 million in venture capital from investors like Susa Ventures, Base10, TLcom Capital, and more.

Co-founded by Fara Ashiru and David Peterside in 2019, Okra initially began as an API provider that allows the real-time exchange of financial information between customers, fintech applications, and banks. However, as is the current trend among open banking startups, Okra has also begun providing payment APIs to businesses in diverse sectors such as finance, e-commerce, and insurance, among others. Okra is also a payment checkout option on GooglePay.

The company has focused on the Nigerian market for four years, but it is currently working to expand to South Africa and Kenya.

Okra is governed by a board of directors and executively led by Ashiru, who was previously a software developer before the startup was founded, and wears two hats—chief executive officer and chief technical officer. She explained to TechCabal that she currently holds both roles because as an infrastructure provider, “Okra’s business vision and the technology are closely intertwined, and often blurred into each other.” However, she looks forward to having someone else join the team and take on the CEO reins in the near future. 

Ashiru’s co-founder, Peterside left his office as chief operating officer in 2022. Now every executive team lead directly reports to Ashiru. The leads include Bodunrin Akinola (head of people), Gbenga Oyedele (senior financial analyst),  Abiodun Oni (business development lead), Dayo Fasan (customer success lead), and Habib Akinpelu (senior legal counsel).

This TechCabal org chart details the leadership at the startup.

Ngozi Chukwu Reporter

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