Obinna Okwodu: Revolutionising Property Rental in Lagos

Young man wearing blue top and jeans
Image from: TheGuardian

Meet the young tech startup founder Obinna Okwodu.

Born in the United States to Nigerian parents, Obinna currently lives in Nigeria where he has founded a company that is revolutionising how properties are rented in Nigeria, Lagos for a start.

The tech entrepreneur is very passionate about relieving Nigerians of the stress associated with renting properties which are enormous especially in Lagos.

Though born in the US, Obinna at some point came back to Nigeria where he spent 17 years of his life before returning abroad for his Degrees.

Upon completing his degrees, Obinna is now back home where he is solving real problems associated with renting apartments in Lagos.

Before we go further about Obinna Okwodu, permit me to share a little experience with you.

It’s about the last time I needed to rent an apartment in Lagos. It had been a serious struggle to get a suitable place.

That wasn’t my first time getting accommodation in Lagos but my previous experience had been easier as I was lucky to know a tenant who was moving out who handed over his apartment to me directly.

This time around, I had to do the searching, go check the places where agents had found and all the attendant wahala.

I eventually got a manageable place at Ogba, Ikeja, voila! But guess what the landlord’s criteria was? A Three-year rent payment upfront!

Yes, as you can imagine, that was the beginning of my search. LOL.

If you live in Lagos, you can testify this is the typical plight of an average Lagosian.

Apart from the challenges of finding suitable accommodation at a reasonable price, tenants have to pay for 1-2 or sometimes 3-year rent before securing an accommodation.

That’s where Obinna Okwodu’s startup comes in handy.

Obinna Okwuodu strongly believes that Nigerians deserve more convenient accommodation deals and he is giving us an alternative that is far more convenient.

Graduating suit black and folder
Screenshot from Instagram: @Obinnaokwodu

In 2016, Obinna launched Fibre, a company that helps tenants in Nigeria find rental accommodation that is both convenient and efficient.

Fibre is a  real estate platform that provides middle-income tenants with the option of paying monthly for rented properties instead of the traditional 1-2 year rent that is often demanded.

Fibre is gradually penetrating the Lagos market. Obinna has plans to satisfy Nigeria first before taking the ‘gospel’ to other parts of Africa.

In 2018, Obinna Okwodu alongside other young Nigerians were named as one of Forbes’ 30 Most Promising Young Entrepreneurs in Africa for setting up Fibre.

See also: Oluwatobi Ajayi: Doing the Impossible

Although the startup has secured some funding since inception, there are challenges that the business model brought to the fore.

In a recent interview with Inspireafrika, Obinna let out some of the challenges they encountered in their early days:

“We spent the first few months begging and pleading with landlords to buy into our idea and partner with us. You either get a response like: ‘’Get out of my office’’ or ‘’If you want to collect monthly rent go and build your own house”.

So we then decided to raise money and pay someone rent for a year to test out the model., we filled up the place really quickly (12 units). We used that as an example to entice other landlords and from there it became a little bit smoother for us”.

Okwodu Obinna did his A levels in the United Kingdom and then worked as an Investment Banking analyst in Morgan Stanley’s Real Estate division in New York.

He holds a dual degree in Civil Engineering and Management Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Other Interesting Facts about Obinna Okwodu

Education

Massachusetts Institute of Technology – Sloan School of Management

Bachelor’s degree – Management Science (Finance Concentration)

2010 – 2014

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Bachelor’s degree – Civil Engineering

2010 – 2014

Winchester College

Cambridge Pre-U

2008 – 2010

Obinna Okwodu’s Age

Obinna Okwodu was born in 1991. In 2018, when he was only 27, he was recognised by Forbes as one of the most promising young Africans.

Obinna Okwodu is truly an inspiration to the younger generation of Nigerians who are pushing for change.

Hey! 👋I’m Bukki Bello, the founder of Ideaslane.com

We interview successful business owners and share the stories behind their business. By sharing these stories, we want to help others get started.

Interested in sharing your own story? Shoot me an email

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