Saturday, November 19, 2022
HomePeer to Peer LendingSeso's hands-on vetting helped seize rising African proptech market

Seso’s hands-on vetting helped seize rising African proptech market

African proptech Seso acknowledged early on that vetting properties as a part of their full-service strategy to the business was a key differentiator in a bustling market.

They get hold of registry and land title paperwork and carry out web site visits, chief business officer Kweku Essien stated. Mortgage financing is supplied by Seso’s banking companions, a few of the hottest native choices. One, Republic Financial institution, has white-labeled Seso’s expertise to supply mortgages from a Ghanaian financial institution to the African diaspora.

Born in Ghana, Essien lived in Canada as a teen. After faculty, his work took him to East Africa. One project had him working with Rwanda and Uganda to digitize their land registries. He met Daniel Bloch, who, two years later, began Seso and introduced Essien on as an advisor.

Seso is creating a whole ecosystem

To start with, Seso sought to know the assorted difficulties in digitizing a registry. They seemed on the completely different participant roles, from builders and banks to legal professionals and surveyors.

Now they’re constructing an ecosystem.

Essien likens it to Africa’s Zillow; 70% of Ghanaian property builders are on Seso. Seso additionally operates in Nigeria and South Africa. Greater than 8,000 items,  together with land, off-plan, and absolutely constructed ones, are on the platform.

“That is the primary of its sort,” Essien stated. “Earlier than this, solely Kenyans may get hold of a mortgage from an area financial institution. We’ve created this ecosystem with properties and banks. We even have legal professionals and surveyors that may present ancillary providers. And that is on the entrance finish, the place we offer a brokerage service for which we get a fee on the sale of the property… and the mortgage.”

Focusing on Africa’s diaspora

For now, Seso’s goal market is the African diaspora.

Seso realized the right way to market to them by means of influencer movies and webinars efficiently. They’ve additionally added occasions, together with teams to tour African properties and see the approach to life.

Roughly $43 billion in annual remittances are despatched to Africa, with half of that going to Nigeria. (Ghana is in second place.) Thirty % goes to actual property purchases or development.

Seso is constructing capabilities to make this course of as simple as attainable, Essien stated. Developer-intuitive financing applications enable purchasers to pay for purchases over two or three years. Main Ghanaian banks, together with Ecobank, which has a 33-country footprint, supply mortgages.

“There’s already a large diaspora on the market that shall be on this product,” Essien stated. “We consider there’ll be a variety of Black diaspora concerned about investing again into the continent for emotional and financial causes. There are a lot of arbitrage alternatives there.”

The untapped African proptech market

Alternative abounds, Essien defined. Airbnb stated Ghana is a fast-growing market. Funds and syndicates have an interest. Extra persons are concerned about retiring in Africa, and Seso works with chiefs and different key influencers.

In Ghana, the mortgage market is the same as one % of the GDP. In the USA, the speed is 50%. Traditionally properties have been in-built a piecemeal style, with fraud and misappropriation of remittances widespread.

Seso CCO Kweku Essien headshot
Seso CCO Kweku Essien stated a blockchain-based registry advantages Africa’s economic system.

But, on the similar time, curiosity in property possession is important. The diaspora, Seso’s present focus, desires to speculate and desires credible assist.

“We’ve acquired a big inflow of those people,” Essien stated. “These are people who’re concerned about shopping for a property and doubtlessly repatriating over time and residing there. However then we’ve seen many people, particularly African-American corporates, within the funding facet.”

Some worldwide requirements might not discover mortgage charges of 9 to 11% with 40% down engaging. However they’re appropriate for the native market, Essien stated. He acknowledged that overseas funding may drive up property values for Africans wishing to purchase property.

Extra points are at play, nevertheless. There’s a multi-million home scarcity on the continent, the place as a lot as 40% may afford lower-priced housing. Seso seeks to unravel that by working with builders on mixed-used developments that shall be prepared for an rising center class. Their work with chiefs to digitize data drastically improves transparency.

The roles of knowledge and tokenization

Information accumulation and interpretation are different parts that can drive Seso’s progress. Transactions generate information. Over time, checks will change into easier if a property is offered a number of occasions as a result of they’re registered on the Cardano blockchain.

In time, Seso may have a Cardano-based token that can incentivize market individuals to legitimize their properties and do the checks. In alternate, they may earn Seso tokens that might allow hire or service reductions. The method will start in Ghana and Nigeria.


A blockchain-based land registry with immutable and verified data grows and advantages all the economic system. It’s a truthful supply of data and might incentivize individuals to register paperwork, correctly transact, and even obtain carbon credit. Fractional property possession additionally turns into attainable.

“What that does is transformational. In the meanwhile, most registries are on paper, and it’s in some storage someplace,” Essien stated. “There’s the potential corruption that may be utilized to alter data, resulting in litigation that lasts 5 or 10 years. 

“We wish to create a system the place you’ll be able to make the most of this platform as a supply for truthful data and, over time, shortly clear up a few of these points.”

  • Tony Zerucha is a long-time contributor within the fintech and alt-fi areas. A two-time LendIt Journalist of the 12 months nominee and winner in 2018, Tony has written greater than 2,000 authentic articles on the blockchain, peer-to-peer lending, crowdfunding, and rising applied sciences over the previous seven years. He has hosted panels at LendIt, the CfPA Summit, and DECENT’s Unchained, a blockchain exposition in Hong Kong. E-mail Tony right here.



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