Oradian, another European startup offering cloud-based software for micro finance institutions (MFIs) in developing markets, has picked up financing of its own.
The Croatian company, whose current customers are micro finance providers mainly in Nigeria, has raised an undisclosed seed round to continue scaling its wares across West Africa and to expand its team, both in Zagreb, Croatia, and in Nigeria.
Backing comes from Credo Ventures — the Prague-based VC that recently announced a new fund — Playfair Capital, Day One Capital, Esther Dyson, Moaffak Ahmed and, Pule Taukobong (Africa Angels Network).Describing the problem Oradian solves, co-founder and CEO Antonio Separovic — who grew up in Cape Town, South Africa and has a background in the financial inclusion space — says that “banks lend money but they don’t do software,” which is where the company steps in.
Its main product is Instafin, a Software-as-a-Service designed to help micro finance providers manage all core-banking activity.
“Our vision is that financial institutions don’t need the headache of managing their back office. Managers of banks take decisions based on the information they have available. Because of poor software and understanding of software management [they] have poor data or it costs them a huge amount of time and money, fundamentally limiting their ability to manage their bank. We solve this problem,” he says.
Specifically, microfinance institutions are struggling with data and often rely on expensive legacy software, Excel spreadsheets or plain old pen and paper. “This makes it difficult to report to central banks and investors, and to manage accounting and keep the books in shape, and to know what’s going on,” adds Separovic.
Oradian’s competitors include current providers of banking software, such as Temenos, which Separovic says is expensive and requires a high level of in-house experience to use, something which is “lacking in frontier markets”.
There’s also software aimed at the budget sector, such as Fern Software, and Craft Silicon, along with newer SaaS players, including Germany’s Mambu, which Separovic and two of Oradian’s other co-founders previously worked at.