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Most Innovative Companies

Ovamba Solutions

Founded in 2013 by Viola Llewellyn and Marvin Cole, who wanted to empower African entrepreneurs with access to finance, Ovamba provides short-term capital to micro-, small-, and medium-size businesses via mobile phone technology. With traditional banking unable to bridge the continent’s credit gap, Ovamba’s proprietary algorithm analyzes various types of data, including cultural information, in real time to measure risk. It can lend amounts of up to US$500,000, and has seen default rates of below 6% across its US$25 million portfolio. Recent innovations that set it even further apart from traditional banks include a natural language chatbot for African languages, a blockchain solution for investor onboarding, and facial and voice recognition security features for its funding platform.

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2019: Africa
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headquarters: Chevy Chase, Maryland