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Funding

Cowrywise, Nigeria’s Wealthtech Startup Secures US$3M to Hire Top Talents

Cowrywise

Cowrywise, a wealthtech startup based in Lagos, reports having raised a US$3 million Pre-Series A funding round led by Quona Capital, seeing participation from Sahil Lavingia, Tsadik Foundation and a syndicate of Nigerian angels also. News suggests, this is actually Quona’s first investment in Nigeria as they show a belief in the investment worthiness of the Nigerian startup ecosystem.

Cowryrise sees this round of funding as strengthening their vision of making wealth management accessible to every Nigerian and moves the startup company a step closer to its medium-term pan-African ambition.

They shared that this meant a lot to them, to have the support of top investors who shared their vision of democratising access to savings and investment products to many in the country.

According to Johan Bosini, a partner at Quona Capital on how their visions aligned,

“Razaq, Edward and the Cowrywise team are providing everyday Nigerians with easy access to powerful and flexible wealth-generating tools that have typically been reserved for people who are already wealthy.”

He aIso added that, in a market of 200 million people, it is very impactful for the people to have enough control over their financial future. Describing it a wealthtech space and the impact it can have in Nigeria in particular.

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Cowrywise

Cowrywise platform mainly provides solution to the problem of access by using a combination of free wealth advisory and consumer education matched with savings and investment offerings that can advance financial inclusion.

Cowrywise
Cowrywise App. Image source, facebook

This latest round of funding is going to enable them, they say, expand product offerings, build newer investment management infrastructure, onboard more fund managers based in Nigeria, broaden financial education program and continue to hire top talents.

In welcoming their latest investment partners, they still acknowledge those who have been with them until now, especially their esteemed customers, the talented team at Cowrywise and early backers  including, Microtraction, who brought them to the world-view-changing experience at Y Combinator and Catalyst Fund.

There is a special mention of Cowrywise getting a sense of its market-creating opportunity for the product during Office Hours with Aaron Harris, a partner at Y Combinator. He is noted for saying, ‘Razaq, you have the opportunity to create the market’ was his response to the obvious challenge of how possibly small and underserved the Nigerian market has been.

For the wealthtech company, Cowrywise,

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“It is a privilege to be connected to a network of global investors supporting an amazing pool of innovators around the world. Cowrywise is leveraging that vantage position to solve local problems with the potential to create value that transcends generations for millions of Nigerians and Africans.”

Funding

ImaliPay: Nairobi Fintech Startup Raises Pre-Seed Funding Led By TEN13

ImaliPay

ImaliPay, a fintech startup helping African freelancers reach their financial goals has raised an undisclosed amount in pre-seed funding from the Australian venture capitalist, TEN13, reputed for investing in top-tier start-ups.

The other investors who participated in this pre-seed round include, Finca Ventures, Optimiser Foundation, Mercycorps Ventures, Changecom, and super angels from Norway, Nigeria, UK and Kenya.

ImaliPay is an embedded finance platform that provides and offers tailored financial products that promote the inclusion of gig economy platforms and workers across Africa.

According to ImaliPay, the primary aim of this newly raised funding is to expand and accelerate their growth and footprint in Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya to be a one-stop-shop for gig workers’ financial needs on the continent.

The backing of ImaliPay by TEN13 is on the back of recent chain of events that has elevated the visibility of Africa’s fintech startup scene.

Commenting on the deal, Managing Partner of TEN13, Stew Glenn, said,

“We believe this is a perfect opportunity to introduce our growing international network of investment professionals and investors to one of the most exciting emerging fintech companies in Africa.

ImaliPay in 2020 was co-founded by Zimbabwe’s Tatenda Furusa and Sanmi Akinmusire a Nigerian, who were former colleagues at the leading payments company Cellulant. The fintech company thinks the investment from the venture capital has significant benefits.

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In a statement released to the press, Tatenda Furusa said,

It’s a great opportunity for investors to participate in the fintech revolution and a fast-growing segment. Our vision at ImaliPay is to advance financial health and inclusion for gig workers who struggle to manage and access flexible financial services that are often only available to traditional SMEs.

The growth in the African gig workforce is being pushed by the growth in digitization and smartphone penetration. Gig workers constitute a significant proportion of the economy within ImaliPay’s target markets and this market segment is expected to grow rapidly over the next decade.

ImaliPay Users

ImaliPay offers gig workers a one-stop-shop of financial services such as the ability to seamlessly save their income and receive in-kind loans through a “buy now, pay later” model tied to their trade.

Bolt drivers in Kenya can now request a fuel loan and payback after 3-4 days, this allows them to get more work done and Safeboda riders in Nigeria can now buy on credit bike parts, fuel, and smartphones to keep their gig moving and reduce any downtime.

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Other products to be offered off the platform include insurance and investment options to foster a safety net for this hard-working but vulnerable part of the population.

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