Okanjo

    Okanjo
    Milwaukee
    www.okanjo.com
    Innovation:
    Cloud Commerce Solutions

    Early on, Okanjo founders Mike Drescher and Jeff Rowe saw an opportunity to bridge the gap between community small businesses and the digital main street offered on the websites of local media organizations. The two incubated a company in Los Angeles that would eventually become Okanjo, now based in Milwaukee.

    “What we do is a bit complicated, but essentially we’re e-commerce delivered as a service,” said Brendon Thomas, president of the company. “We leverage the online traffic generated on local media websites to launch hyper local, content-integrated marketplaces that help small businesses be seen.”

    The private label, interconnected market-place-as-a-service platform is a unique and revolutionary way to combine content, community, and commerce, Thomas said.

    Okanjo takes advantage of two large and fast-growing markets: e-commerce and local advertising, which together make up a more than $350 billion industry with an average of 18.5 percent annual growth.

    The company generates revenue through enterprise licensing agreements, SAS subscriptions and transactional commissions.

    The goal of the company, according to Thomas, is not only to provide a valuable revenue source for local media outlets, but also to eliminate the burden of internet marketing and web traffic for small- to medium-sized businesses that don’t always have that expertise.

    “Local media outlets play such a pivotal role in the communities they serve,” Thomas said. “Okanjo binds the local media outlets and the local audience with commerce solutions that build up businesses and nonprofits in the community. The money stays local and the community becomes stronger as a result.”

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