Arouko: Entrepreneur helping businesses automate repetitive financial tasks

Cossi Achille Arouko is the founder and chief executive of Bujeti – a fintech startup that provides business-to- business budgeting and expense management for African businesses. Arouko has always had a passion for tech, an attribute that drew him to the industry.

He was inspired to establish Bujeti to help individuals and businesses prepare budgets and automate repetitive financial tasks, reimbursements, reconciliation, and invoice reminders among others.

The business that started as a platform to help Africa Diasporas control their finances and automate remittances has expanded to cater to businesses on the continent.

“Bujeti started as a personal budgeting app to control personal finances and automate remittance, especially for the diaspora,” he says.

“Being able to send money monthly back home and track how the money is being spent by the recipient is one of the things that inspired Bujeti,” he explains.

“We also found out that businesses also suffer from the same issues with employees, vendors, and suppliers. We wanted to address the issue, so we expanded Bujeti,” he notes.

Since starting, the business has grown steadily and now has over 50 businesses registered on its platform. “So far, we have over 50 companies registered, and we are looking forward to serving more companies and helping them get a hold on their finances and expenses,” he says.

Before establishing Bujeti, the Beninese entrepreneur co-founded two other tech start-ups (OyaPay and Skylar Labs) that are collectively serving users and clients.

Read also: Harris Business trains 600 entrepreneurs on marketing, scaling

The young entrepreneur initially self-funded Bujeti before securing additional funding from family, friends, and investors. Currently, the business has secured $500,000 in pre-seed funding to expand its operations.

According to him, the business plans to grow its infrastructure by adding additional tools and features to make it a one-stop shop platform for payments and finances for businesses in the long run.

“We intend to serve the company and allow other businesses operating across the continent manage their different locations within the same platform.”

On some of the challenges he experienced on his entrepreneurship journey, he says business unwillingness to adopt new ways of doing things is a major challenge to the business.

“The challenge is to make decision-makers and workers understand that their work doesn’t need to be cumbersome, there are technologies out there that can give you your time back so you can focus on more productive and lucrative tasks,” the young entrepreneur says.

“No one should spend time on reconciliation when Bujeti can take care of that while you’re focusing on closing deals.”

According to him, the tech ecosystem in Nigeria is one of the best on the continent and the best in the West African region.

He adds that the Nigerian entrepreneurship ecosystem is improving, noting it made him to build his business in the country.

“The Nigerian entrepreneurship ecosystem is improving, look at all the big players out there, Paystack, Mono, Flutterwave, and Shekel Mobility among others, and even the investors are following suit.”

“That’s why I’m here and not in France or Bénin. This is the place to be if you want to build something sustainable, break or make in Nigeria and then the sky’s the limit.

“If it works in Nigeria it would and should work everywhere else in Africa.”

On his advice to other young entrepreneurs, he says, “Believe in yourself, try and fail, and try again, if it succeeds the first time, great for you, if it doesn’t trust me it would as long as you keep trying.”

“Keep your head up, keep your smile on, get a great entourage and keep trying, eventually you’ll make it out. People are out there rooting for you and want you to succeed, so do it for yourself and do it for them, or at least do it for mom,” he advises.