Vilnius-based Okredo scores €650k for its open data platform
Lithuanian startup Okredo has announced a raise of €650k in a follow-up funding round. The SaaS startup is enabling small European businesses to access enhanced business opportunities.
Data – and more importantly access to it – is one of the forces that is keeping European society and economy ticking. We live in a data-driven world, and it’s now something that needs to be leveraged by businesses across verticals. For SMEs though – this isn’t necessarily a simple task.
Aiming to help companies access data with improved insights, Okredo has just picked up €650k, despite a slowdown in VC investment.
The fresh funding for the Vilnius-based startup was led by the Lithuanian Business Angels Fund, Presto Ventures, and Lighthouse Ventures. The €650k boost can be seen as a continuation of its 2021 round – when the team secured €1 million.
The raised funds will be used to expand into the UK and other markets, and the development of an Open Banking solution.
Open data platform for optimised business
Founded in 2015, Okredo has swiftly become a trusted SaaS platform that is enabling SMEs to assess the credibility, stability, and sales potential of prospective and ongoing business partners and clients.
It’s a startup tackling a far-reaching issue – access to actionable data. It’s an issue that SMEs are increasingly experiencing as most countries’ data is fragmented across several sources, requires numerous integrations, takes a long time to acquire, and is challenging to comprehend.
Why does it matter though?
This data could be utilized for both sales and credit risk management – imperative in business processes. 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.
Growing data industry
The rise of the data-driven world has also been fuelled by directives like 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.
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.”
Gerda added: “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.”
Supporting European SMEs
The Lithuanian startup has already launched successfully across the Baltics, and now, with this new funding has plans to expand across Europe. 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.
In addition to the planned expansion to the UK and other markets, Okredo is developing an open banking solution for its 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 become 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.
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”