It has taken just 5 years to accomplish what others said was impossible. Viola Llewellyn and Marvin Cole merged technology, culture and a new vision of finance to create Ovamba.
Founded in 2013 in the USA, Marvin and Viola put together a team to serve small and medium size businesses who were missing out on growth, and provide them with new, creative funding solutions for their businesses. This was the birth of modern FinTech and alternative finance in Cameroon. 5 years, one extended Beta phase and 1000 transactions later Ovamba is poised to take its successful market-tested trade, finance and business model continent wide. Their flagship innovation, ‘Growth-As-A-Service™’ is set to make a dent in Africa’s $2.3 Trillion trade and business finance gap and serve the “missing middle” profitably WITH social impact.
Ovamba has been setting trends and raising the bar for what is possible when you imagine an ‘Africa of innovation and excellence’. The team has been honored with awards: ‘Best African FinTech Company’ in 2016 and 2017 respectively and most recently Fast Company’s 2019 ‘Top Ten Most Innovative Companies list’.
In the last 5 years each of the founders has carved out personal and professional niches on the global stage. Viola Llewellyn is known as a STEM supporter and advocate for diversity and inclusion. She serves on the board of a number of other organizations which also share similar visions and goals for women in the sectors of business, science and technology. She is a sought after speaker on the world circuit.
In January 2019, CEO Marvin Cole spoke at Davos on ‘verbal computing and innovation’. He is fast becoming a global thought leader on Islamic finance, TradeTech and artificial intelligence. ‘Winning in Africa takes resilience’ said Marvin Cole. Serving the underbanked population takes deep insights, nuanced understanding and cutting edge innovation. This particular achievement was recognized in 2017 with the Benzinga FinTech award.
Ovamba has established TradeTech as a bonafide new asset class and the impact is tangible. Changing the world by growing businesses in Africa through TradeTech is a novel way to drive inclusion and give businesses a platform to access global opportunities. Consolidating the buying power of Africa’s inventory-hungry customers with its SmartGrowth™ and Growth-As-A-Service™ funding products certainly addresses the risks associated with ‘fractured markets’ and reduces the barrier to investment. Digitizing customer demand on a supply chain basis has a uniting, powerful effect. This is well ahead of the ambitions of the African Union who recently ratified an agreement to make Africa a free trade zone.
The next 5 years promises collaboration with banks, more technology and more capital for businesses. Investment across Ovamba’s platform will increase to help businesses attain real growth, and investors will experience great returns on impact and investment.
As Ovamba’s founders Marvin Cole and Viola Llewellyn have always said, “This Ain’t Your Granddaddy’s Africa”!