Nigerian fintech startup, Cowrywise, has announced that it has closed $3 million funding in a round led by Quona Capital, joined by Sahil Lavingia, Tsadik Foundation, and a network of Nigerian angel investors and those in the diaspora.
With this recent addition to its coffers, Cowrywise reveals that it will use the funds to expand its product offerings to include more asset classes, support the onboarding of more fund managers locally and globally, as well as shore up its infrastructure.
Launched in 2017 by co-founders Edward Popoola and Razaq Ahmed, Cowrywise is a digital wealth management platform that offers underserved Nigerians access to a variety of goal-oriented savings and investment products. This was to address a need previously neglected by traditional investment firms.
How it operates
At present, the wealth management company has 19 different mutual funds and at least 20% of the total mutual funds in the country are listed on its platform. With these, users are able to save and invest with as little as ₦100- the equivalent of $0.25.
Also, the company proffers advisory services and suggests different funds to customers as much as their risk tolerance and financial capacity allow.
In keeping its principle of inclusiveness, Cowrywise renders its products and services to different demographic considering other social factors such as religion, and ideology.
An overview of funding received so far
The pre-series A round funding came in the wake of the grant it got from Catalyst Fund in January 2020.
In June 2018, Cowrywise secured an Angel round of $50,000 led by Microtraction. About two months later, it closed a $120,000 seed round from Y Combinator and another seed round from Kairos by December, all in the same year.
In April 2019, it received an undisclosed amount of funding from K-50 Ventures before it obtained an $80,000 grant from Catalyst Fund. The Quona led investment totals Cowrywise’s funding amount within the range of $3.3 million to $3.5 million since its inception in 2017.
Territory yet unexplored
Cowrywise’s co-founder, Ahmed claims the platform has grown from 2,000 in 2018 to 220,000 users as of now. An exceptional feat, indeed!
The company is set to increase its customer base as there is still much ground to cover. To illustrate: there are only half a million Nigerians actively investing in mutual funds. Compare this figure to the aggregate number of active bank accounts in Nigeria. It’s obvious that Cowrywise still has room to do expand in the huge market space.
Outlining the company’s journey going forward, Ahmed said, “We have only onboarded 20% of mutual funds in Nigeria on Cowrywise. Our immediate focus is to onboard the other 80% and make the entire mutual fund industry easily accessible to more retail investors in Nigeria.”
About Quona Capital
A VC firm based in Washington D.C, in the United States, Quona Capital invests in innovative fintech startups that are promoting financial inclusion in emerging markets.
In February 2020, the company led the $14 million series A round for Sokowatch a Kenyan eCommerce Startup. To date, Cowrywise is the first Nigerian Startup to be funded by Quona Capital. Hopefully, this will be the first of many to come.
Featured Image: Razaq Ahmed and Edward Popoola, Co-Founders, Cowrywise
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