Open Data Platform Raises 650K EUR in Follow-up Funding Round Despite Venture Capital Slowdown
Okredo, an open data platform, raises 650,000 EUR in its follow-up funding round, having already raised 1 million EUR six months ago. This round will enable the company to expand into foreign markets and continue the development of an Open Banking solution.
Okredo, an open data startup based in Lithuania, has closed its follow-up investment round after raising 650,000 EUR. Since its establishment in 2015, the company has become a trusted SaaS platform that enables SMEs to assess the credibility, stability, and sales potential of prospective and ongoing business partners and clients.
The funding round, led by the Lithuanian Business Angels Fund, Czech Presto Ventures, and Lighthouse Ventures, can be considered a continuation of its 2021 round, which generated 1 million EUR. The raised funds will be used to expand into the UK and other markets, and the development of an Open Banking solution.
Follow-up round successful despite venture slowdown
Okredo’s success in securing funds is an exception in the current state of the startup market. A recent report revealed that the value of venture investments has ticked lower in most months since November 2021, before dropping another USD 5 billion from March to April 2022. The investments into scalable and practical solutions seem to be holding investor interests.
Okredo is one of the companies that has shown steady growth by delivering a solution to a broad issue — access to data. More specifically, an issue that SMEs are now experiencing — most countries’ data is fragmented across several sources, requires numerous integrations, takes a long time to acquire, and is challenging to comprehend. This data could be utilized for both sales and credit risk management. Consequently, there is a need in the market for a product that allows data to be easily understood and aid businesses in resolving these issues — and Okredo plans to offer such practical solutions.
Gerda Jurkonienė, co-founder and CEO of Okredo: ”The decision of some venture capital funds to continue investments is a sign of the company’s efficiency and ability to deliver results. The general proliferation of the data market — with its ability to increase the overall speed of business — has also helped attract further investments.The data industry, which has even been dubbed by some as the ‘new oil’, is an attractive field for investors.”
“Most importantly, our platform offers a variety of tools that make it simpler to assess businesses’ risks and sales potential. These tools are highly valuable due to the current economic instability, brittle logistical chains, the ongoing geopolitical tensions, and the reorientation of international commerce. However, European companies currently lack a widely-accessible open data platform to analyze such factors, which is exactly what we want to change. To help tackle this situation, we have also created a number of API solutions for our partners who create ERP, CRM, and accounting systems, adding the value of current data to their services,” she explained.
A unified open data platform for efficient business
The burgeoning of the data industry is a result of the 2019 EU Directive on Open Data and the Re-use of Public Sector Information, which urges EU countries to make publicly financed and public sector data as accessible as possible to enable information re-use, which can result in financial gains.
This data market development especially impacts SMEs, which are often exposed to greater risks as they have insufficient knowledge and resources to collect and interpret data, and no funds for expensive credit risk management solutions such as credit bureaus or credit insurance.
Having successfully launched in the Baltic States, Okredo now plans to take advantage of the EU directive and expand into new markets. The platform was introduced in all three Baltic nations last year and currently has over 17,000 users and more than 3,000 corporate clients.
Roman Nováček, partner at Presto Ventures: “Having invested in Okredo a few months ago, we had the opportunity to observe the company’s operations from the inside, to get to know the processes and the team. Our investment has exceeded our expectations and we still see potential in further developing their product and adding new features to broaden the market potential. We want to play a more active role in Okredo’s expansion to other countries. We have no doubt that a single European platform for corporate data can make doing business across Europe more secure, especially for small businesses that were traditionally priced out of the market. They will definitely appreciate it in these uncertain economic conditions”
In addition to the planned expansion to the UK and other markets, Okredo is developing an open banking solution for their users. More specifically, the company wants to tackle the critical element in a company’s risk assessment — the financial status based on annual reports that becomes obsolete even before the official declaration.
The solution, with the company’s consent, will categorize cash flow and other financial parameters and enable the sharing of its financial performance with relevant stakeholders throughout the year. Businesses will be able to make financial decisions quicker by engaging business partners, investors, or lending institutions with access to up-to-date data. Even if the financial performance is weakened, the company will be able to address issues sooner, initiate credit amendment actions, etc. In turn, up-to-date data would provide a more thorough basis for business assessment, allowing to improve the structure of internal operations and accelerate business processes.