By Arakunle Kayode
In an era where access to financial tools, high-quality savings and investment products in Nigeria is unavailable despite the high digital connection levels, Nigerian startup, Cowrywise has declared a $3 million pre-series A funding success, which it said will be used to expand its range of product offerings to more asset classes and also support the on-boarding of more fund managers globally.
The founders of the wealth management Nigerian startup, Razaq Ahmed and Edward Popoola, made the declaration as they look to build a full-fledged wealth management platform in Nigeria that covers savings, investments, financial planning, with the quest to deepen its investment in management infrastructure.
The funding, according to the founders, was pushed by Quona Capital, a Washington DC based investor, with active participation from syndicate investors in Nigerian and Sahil Lavingia, Tsadik foundation and it is aimed to deliver to Nigerians better access to a range of goal-oriented savings and investments products.
This brings Cowrywise’s total investment to between $3.3 million from $3.5 million since the launch of the start-up in 2017 while the numbers of users on the platform have seen a significant growth to 220,000 users from 2,000 in 2018.
Prior to this $3 million funding, in Q2 2018, the Nigerian wealth management Startup closed an angel round of $50,000 led by Microtraction after which it raised $120,000 seed round from Y Combinator two months later and another from Kairos by the end of 2018.
Progressively, Cowrywise received an undisclosed funding from K-50 Ventures in April 2019, then an $80,000 grant from UK-DFID backed accelerator and then the $3 million in January 2021, pushing the total financing to $3.5 million.
With a growth-driven mentality, the startup founding partners stated that about 20 per cent of mutual funds in Nigeria have been onboarded on the platform as it focuses to onboard other 80 per cent to make the entire mutual fund market to be easily accessed by retail investors in Nigeria. The CEO revealed that the company’s algorithms will be used to tailor investment options to the customers’ needs with 19 several mutual funds available to users.
“Our vision is to build a full-fledged wealth management solution, covering financial planning, savings and investments. This funding takes us a step closer to that. The Cowrywise platform is designed to solve this problem through a combination of free wealth advisory and consumer education, paired with savings and investment offerings that can advance financial inclusion, “ revealed co-founder, Ahmed Razaq.
Meanwhile, Johan Bosini, partner at Quona Capital said Quona is pleased to be part of the investment with the first Nigerian startup in its portfolio.
“Cowrywise’s unique approach to wealth management and financial planning through an accessible mobile platform increases financial resilience for Nigerians in a way that we believe can have a positive impact in the long-term. We are excited to support this team and make our first Nigerian investment in Cowrywise,” Bosini stated.
Conclusively, given the myriads of service like rent or car payments that require a full upfront payment from Nigerians, Cowrywise appears to be very critical in offering Nigerians the opportunity of seeing their yearnings solved at their fingertips.