Seso Global, a one-stop platform for property management and transactions that began life in Nigeria, has expanded to South Africa and Ghana and is looking even further afield as it focuses on addressing a major challenge on the continent.
Launched in Nigeria in June 2019, Seso has developed a customer relationship management (CRM) portal that enables property developers, agents and governments to manage their properties, documentation and transactions on a secure blockchain database.
“Once verified the properties are listed onto the Seso marketplace where clients can browse properties and interact with further service providers such as banks for mortgage and law firms for title registration to complete the sale,” Daniel Bloch, the startup’s chief executive officer (CEO), told Disrupt Africa.
Seso has expanded very quickly indeed. The startup launched its first pilot in South Africa in November 2019, rolling out a government-facing registry portal with funding from Mastercard and the Oppenheimer Foundation, and launched in Ghana in May of this year in partnership with the British High Commission. Bloch said it has 65 property developers on the platform, with over 6,000 total property units across its three markets.
“We average 10,000 website visits per month, and are approaching US$1 million in property transactions on the platform for the past year. Our government-facing registry portal in South Africa has onboarded 1,000 properties for title registration, and we have received scale-up funding to onboard 5,000 more over next six months,” he said.
Seso raised its first round of funding in 2017 from family offices in Ghana and South Africa, and another in 2019 from a family office in Nigeria and Jamie Broderick, an angel investor from the United Kingdom (UK). Its most recent cash injection was back in March, from Kepple Africa Ventures and past investors. It is targeting further growth.
“We are seeking franchise partners to take the platform to further markets. We are currently exploring expansion to the DRC, Kenya and Morocco,” said Bloch.
Seso’s ambitious expansion plans stem from its belief it is solving a very real problem.
“There is a lack of trust in the property markets across Africa, especially for diaspora,” Bloch said. “Current marketplaces do not have full verification processes and cannot provide an end-to-end experience with access to further service providers, such as mortgage and title registration.”
Seso, however, provides a verified marketplace and one-stop platform for buyers to find properties and close their transactions. The startup takes a fee for transactions completed on the marketplace from those listing properties, though it is free to join and list.
“Additionally, we charge licensing fees for our CRM and land registry portals, which vary depending on the tools utilised and number of users. We have generated approximately US$200,000 in revenue over the past year,” Bloch said.