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OBINNA OKWODU

A Harambean Solving the Nigerian Housing Crisis
Finding and paying for a home in Nigeria is a challenge. To eliminate this barrier, African entrepreneur and Harambean Obinna Okwodu co-founded a solution called Fibre, allowing young Nigerians to “live in Lagos and pay monthly”.

“The easiest way to find and pay for your next home in Nigeria.”

SOLVING NIGERIA'S HOUSING CRISIS

THE CHALLENGE. Due to lack of trust in the rental market, landlords demand up to 24 months of rent upfront, putting an enormous strain on young people and families in Lagos, Nigeria. Acquiring this kind of capital is difficult and it meant that many young professionals were struggling to secure homes and provide for their families. There needed to be a way to enable Nigerians to establish credit and find housing that had more flexible leasing options.

THE PROCESS. Moving back to Lagos after graduating from MIT, Mr. Okwodu experienced first hand the premier concern facing young professionals in the city: where to live and how to pay for the large upfront sum required. He even witnessed friends, who came with the intention of starting African businesses, move back to the US or UK after being unable to find a place to live without breaking the bank. Okwodu teamed up with fellow Harambean, Olatunde Garuba and Demi Ademuson, who decided to take action against the housing market’s unreasonable approach to treat every citizen as though they had the same, very high risk profile.

THE RESULT. Their ambitions became even bolder. Okwodu saw the tremendous opportunity that a database detailing the risk level of millions of Fibre customers could become for the lending market as a whole, creating a thriving and safe credit market in Nigeria. Now Fibre is the easiest way to find and pay for homes in the country. The flexible payments and leasing options has created an affordable housing market and is reshaping the lives of Nigerians as a result.

LEARN MORE ABOUT FIBRE

We make living easier so you can focus on building your life.

Fibre exists to eliminate the barriers that make it difficult for young people to find homes and live in major cities in Nigeria. We are the easiest way to find and pay for homes in the country. And with flexible payments, flexible lease terms and affordable living options, we are ushering a new generation of Nigerians away from the rigid and inconvenient past into the future of living in Nigeria.

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ABOUT OBINNA OKWODU

Okwodu is a Harambean and African entrepreneur who was born in the United States but grew up in Lagos, Nigeria. He later moved to Winchester College in England and then to Cambridge, MA for University at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He earned one B.Sc. in Civil Engineering from the School of Engineering and another in Management Science from the Sloan School of Management.

Okwodu’s experience with the Real Estate team in Morgan Stanley gave him unique insights into housing markets. When he founded Fibre, his knowledge and expertise enabled the company to partner with landlords in the city, providing them with guaranteed income on their property.

“It’s the complete lack of trust that causes people to demand one to two years of rent upfront. Having a trusted intermediary provides security to homeowners and landlords.”

Team Fibre continues to thrive. Recognizing the urgent need for residential real estate investment required to house one of the fastest growing populations, the company launched Secure, a home-buying and selling platform allowing anyone to invest in Nigerian residential real estate. After purchase buyers can then rent out their properties via Fibre.

“Secure by Fibre exists to make real estate investments in Africa; transparent, safe and accessible for anyone, anywhere.”

I AM A HARAMBEAN

Okwodu is a Harambean of the 2016 Class. He understands that being an entrepreneur in Nigeria is tough. There are a million and one fires to put out everyday and the infrastructural difficulties in the country contribute to make one’s job even tougher. He believes this difficulty is further magnified by the fact that, for the most part, we are facing these mountains alone.

“Harambeans are some of the most intelligent, driven and inspired young African entrepreneurs, and by interacting with my fellow Harambeans, I learn a lot, grow as an entrepreneur, a businessman and as a person.”