Our Story

Ovamba was founded in 2013 in the US by long-time friends, Viola Llewellyn and Marvin Cole, who saw an opportunity to help empower fellow entrepreneurs in Africa and the Middle East by providing them with the access to finance needed in order to flourish their businesses. The problem they were solving was twofold; firstly, banks were slow and ill-equipped to adapt to meet the demands of fast moving African small businesses; and secondly, banks’ limited due diligence procedures made it hard for entrepreneurs with no previous track record to get started.

Marvin and Viola decided to combine their experience of the finance and technology sectors and build a platform that would offer fast access to business growth support delivered via mobile phone. Complementing its world-class technology, the platform further set itself apart by offering the ability to analyse real-time risk in Africa based on deep traditional and cultural knowledge from on-the-ground teams, thereby creating a system of both technical and local know-how.

In 2014, Ovamba attracted significant investment from UK-based GLI Finance, whose backers include Blackrock Global, AXA Investment Managers and Barclays Wealth. Ovamba then set up its first operations in Cameroon – a country with over 200 local languages, Muslim and Christian communities, and an economy almost entirely comprised of SMEs. It was the perfect place to prove the model.

With a strong track record of successful transactions, in 2016 Ovamba attracted further investment from other investment platforms, such as Japan’s leading fintech emerging markets investor –  Crowdcredit. This has enabled Ovamba to expand its operations into multiple geographies.

  • Avenue De Gaulle, Entrée Face Bati Service, Bonapriso
    Bonapriso, Douala – Littoral, Cameroon

    Cameroon Sales:  sales.cm@ovamba.com

  • 1 Chadwick Ave, Wynberg
    Gauteng, South Africa 2090

    +27(0)11 083 5851

  • Ovamba USA office

    5425 wisconsin avenue Suite
    600 Chevy Chase, MD 20815

    +1 301-968-2360

Meet the Team

Marvin Cole

Marvin Cole

Founder & Global CEO

Marvin Cole is the President, CEO, Founder, and Chief Leadership Officer of Ovamba Solutions, Inc. At Ovamba, Mr. Cole brings “best practice” due diligence and deal structuring to the Ovamba platform. He oversees risk underwriting,business intelligence, pricing, and analysis teams, and directs collaborative partnerships with global trading houses, banks and institutional investors. Mr. Cole is a McKinsey & Company alum where he worked as a consultant in their Johannesburg branch. Prior to McKinsey, He was the co-founder of Praxis Asset Management and Praxis Management Advisors, boutique investment management consultancy firms that focused on emerging markets. He has served as an M&A consulting advisor with Deloitte Consulting LLP serving private equity clients within the United States and Europe.

 

Executive team

  • Marvin
    Marvin Cole
    Founder & Global CEO

  • Viola Llewellyn
    Co-Founder & Global President,
    Cameroon General Manager

  • Prashant Mahajan
    Global CTO

  • Robert Sheahan
    Board Member & Advisor

Join the team

It has been brought to our attention that malicious individuals would charge financial costs to candidates for recruiting on behalf of Ovamba. We would like to remind you that Ovamba does not charge fees at any stage of the recruitment process. This denunciation is also valid with regard to the processing of service requests.

FAQs

Ovamba connects African SMEs to short term sources of funding using its proprietary risk model.
– 84% of the 1.1bn people on the African Continent are unable to access capital to finance their business
– There is a $368bn credit gap that represents an opportunity to investors
– Banks have proven unable to serve the SME space due to infrastructure and chronic credit scoring inaccuracies
– Banks have not developed any new tech or mobile platforms that SMEs need for their businesses to grow
Ovamba was co-founded by Marvin Cole and Viola Llewellyn in 2013. We are a US based Delaware registered company headquartered in Chevy Chase, Maryland. The company has been operational in Douala, Cameroon since 2014 with 2016 expansion plans currently under execution.  We are NOT a bank – instead we provide “Growth” As a Service – enabling business growth by providing the assets /inventory our business clients require.
We profitably serve the “bottom of the pyramid” African traders and small business owners by  facilitating the inventory placement /  import transaction from order placement, confirmation, logistics and tracking until delivery to the business on time based payment terms. On delivery of the goods, we provide a single invoice consolidating the total landed cost per item, effectively becoming a local supplier of product.

Ovamba CEO Marvin Cole to speak at the Fourth Lendit USA 2016 Conference

APRIL 11, 2016

Marvin Cole, CEO and founder of Ovamba Solutions, was invited to speak at the fourth Lendit Conference 2016. This is the largest conference for online lending, where platforms and investors come to learn, create networks and doing business. The conference will be held at San Francisco Marriott Marquis on April 11 and 12, 2016 and will provide an excellent opportunity to expand the professional learning network and the opportunity to reach influencer colleagues, businesses and representatives. More than 500 business experts were invited to share their knowledge through plenary sessions, slogans, workshops, exhibitions, breakout sessions, and more. Last year, more than 2,500 attendees attended the LendIt San Francisco conference and this year

Read more

Ovamba COO Viola Llewellyn is presented as a leader in women’s technology

07 APRIL 2016

Women in FinTech and How FinTech is Changing the World

“To celebrate International Women’s Day, I was invited to speak to women in London at the FinTech Innovate Finance event on March 8 on how the FinTech is changing the world, and what it means for women in the industry.
I want to share my thoughts with you all “.

-Viola Llewellyn, Ovamba Cameroon General Manager

Read more

China and the United States to Hold Credit Conference

27 JANUARY 2016

The State of San Francisco will open at Sync United States International (Chi Mei International), a bilateral “resource” created to promote Internet finance businesses. This is the first international conference ever organized by this company. Fintech leaders will meet at the Credit Conference on 27 and 28 January to discuss possible collaboration and cross-border investments. Industry representatives from the world’s two economies, China and the United States will be keynote speakers at this major conference. With over 2600 online loan platforms, China is the largest peer-to-peer lending market in the world.

Read more