VENCO, a Nigerian software firm, has raised $670k in pre-seed funding to alleviate the problems associated with living in estates or residential and commercial communities in Africa.
VENCO is a platform that helps manage and monitor an estate’s utility bills, make sure residents pay their dues on time, and keep track of complaints. VENCO works for malls, shopping complexes, and even small communities – onboarding these entities requires them to engage and log into the platform.
According to the company, it wishes to improve Africans’ living conditions. Living in a residential or commercial estate in Nigeria, and possibly other regions of Africa, entails sharing the problems and responsibilities that come with the residential area.
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Onboarding larger communities with more than 1000 units is one of the startup’s largest problems; it can take up to a year due to the increased number of stakeholders. However, it takes the startup two to four weeks to sign up for most communities. Another significant issue is finding compatible partners.
Osiegbu used the example of the platform managing the bulk energy supply to an estate. In such cases, it is in charge of giving homeowners meters and integrating them with its platform so that residents may monitor their usage from the platform. Finding the ideal partners for it, though, might be difficult. The company plans to incorporate a credit facility feature where estates can get funding to fix emergencies. It also hopes this feature will be extended to residents to buy household items on credit.
VENCO was founded by Osiegbu Oyebanjo, a former CTO of Manqala, an IT consulting firm in Lagos and the COO of VENCO, and Reagan Mbitiru, the CTO. The idea for VENCO came in 2016 when the chairman of an estate asked if he could use his technological expertise to solve its management problems.
VENCO’s fundraising was led by Zrosk Investment Management, with participation from Voltron Capital, Decimal Point Ventures, and Fast Forward Fund. Since its launch, VENCO has processed $5 billion in collections ($11.3 million) in 180 estates.