Nigerian fintech startup Owoafara, which provides digital banking to assist the unbanked population of the world in accessing financial products and services, has raised funding from gender lens investment firm ShEquity.
Founded by Tale Alimi, Owoafara helps people access financial solutions such as payments, credits, savings, health insurance, and pensions on a single platform.
Through Owoafara’s digital platform and card services, member businesses are verified and provided with a variety of financial services including credit not normally provided by banks.
The startup has now raised funding from ShEquity, a gender lens investment firm that seeks to address Africa’s gender funding gap by making smart investments in African-owned and led businesses.
“We at Owoafara are thrilled to partner with ShEquity to accelerate our growth, broaden our impact, and support us to competitively scale in West Africa. Eighty per cent of our current loan book are to unbanked women micro-entrepreneurs. We are proud that our products promote an inclusive fintech sector wherein hardworking informal women entrepreneurs can increase their earnings capacity and strengthen their economic agility to resist financial precarity, thus ensuring long-term livelihood and family security. ShEquity’s investment will support us in reaching one million underserved micro-entrepreneurs and small businesses by 2023,” said Alimi.
Owoafara was among 16 businesses that graduated from the first cohort of the ShEquity Business Accelerator (SHEBA) in September 2021. The USAID Trade Hub-backed initiative addresses the existing gender funding gap by de-risking African female-led businesses and getting them to become investment-ready.
“The investment in Owoafara illustrates ShEquity’s singular focus on providing catalytic investments to African women entrepreneurs and innovators,” said ShEquity’s founder and managing partner Pauline Koelbl.