Nigerian startup VENCO has seen strong growth from its platform, which helps landlords, property managers and residents run their communities sustainably and with minimal stress, and is now targeting continental expansion.
Co-founded by Chude Osiegbu (CEO), Reagan Mbitiru (CTO) and Uzochukwu Alor (COO), WIN is an all-in-one technology platform that manages collections, service charge administration, utility sales, visitor access and other services associated with multi-unit real estate developments in Africa.
“Our all-in-one technology platform helps homeowners, property managers, and residents manage their communities sustainably and with minimal stress. Our solutions simplify day-to-day processes, from collections management, payment reconciliation, visitor access to issue management, utility sales and other wealth management processes associated with multi-unit real estate developments in Africa. Our services reduce the cost of service delivery and increase transparency, efficiency and convenience for end users,” Osiegbu told Disrupt Africa.
“Residents can now create an economic profile based on their financial transactions on the VENCO platform. They can now access a variety of integrated financial services including insurance, rental credit facilitation, utility charges, household expenses and more.”
The idea for VENCO came about in 2018 in Port Harcourt, when the president of the farm Osiegbu lived on at the time requested his technology expertise to help manage some of the farm’s challenges.
“The initial plan was not to commercialize the solution. However, after moving to Lagos and experiencing and hearing about similar challenges on properties across Lagos, I thought the solution could be useful in solving a real problem in Africa, he said.
That has certainly proved the case.
The startup has posted growth of over 200 percent in the last nine months and is currently in six cities and over 12,000 property units in Nigeria and Kenya. Since January 2022, it has processed over $10 million in transaction value through its platform.
Osiegbu said there are serious demands for solutions like VENCO’s.
“As urbanization in Africa increases, multi-property developments have become the preferred mode of offering residential and commercial real estate. Of the 2.5 million households in Nigeria earning more than US$1,000 a month, 80% live in multi-property communities,” he said.
“Twenty-five percent of your income is spent on rent and 50 percent is spent on other household needs, including consumables, utilities, internet data, cable TV, and other services. This market for household spending represents a $22.5 billion opportunity in Nigeria and a $100 billion opportunity across Africa.”
However, the process of managing various aspects of life in residential and commercial communities is largely manual and paper-based, creating inefficiencies that negatively impact the resident experience and owner profitability.
“For example, the default rate on charging service charges for multi-property developments in Africa can be as high as 60 percent, meaning property managers are out of pocket or forced to operate with insufficient funds. . Even when payments are collected, the manual process means that reconciliation is prone to error and theft is common,” Osiegbu said.
This is the gap that VENCO, which monetizes through subscription fees, is filling.
Harnessing technology to deliver new services and experiences that will transform the way people live in Africa’s growing cities, creating better value for everyone across the board and enhancing the living experience across the continent,” he said. .
startup raised a US$670,000 pre-seed funding round in December, led by Zrosk Investment Management with the participation of other strategic investors such as Voltron Capital, Decimal Point Ventures, Fast Forward Fund and Paga CEO Tayo Oviosu. Further expansion is on his mind.
“We are currently operating in Nigeria and Kenya and exploring opportunities to scale up across the continent,” Osiegbu said. “With more residents on the mainland opting for community living, our goal is to expand into more communities and bring more benefits to our users through new product offerings and significant enhancements to the experience on our platform. The ultimate goal is to be present in every home.”