BY TOM JACKSON
Nigerian fintech startup Cowrywise has been granted a Fund/Portfolio Management License by the country’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), enabling it to operate as a fully fledged funding management company.
Launched in 2017 by Razaq Ahmed and Edward Popoola, Cowrywise offers easily accessible, goal-oriented savings and investment products with more competitive performance rates than traditional alternatives.
The startup currently has 21 different mutual funds available through its platform, which allows users to get started saving and investing with as little as NGN100 (US$0.25). The Cowrywise platform leverages internal algorithms to recommend investment products that meet the individualised needs of each consumer, many of whom had previously never made an investment.
Securing a Fund/Portfolio Management license from the SEC emboldens the startup in its ambition of onboarding 10 million retail investors to the formal investment management industry by 2025. It currently has 300,000 registered users, and closed a US$3 million funding round in January to help it expand.
“We are excited to issue the first license in the fund/portfolio management category to a fintech player in Nigeria, Cowrywise. This is a demonstration of our resolve to support technology innovation in the development of the Nigerian capital market while making investor protection a priority,” said Emomotimi Agama, head of registration, exchanges, market infrastructure and innovation at the SEC.
It is license issuing season at the SEC, with Disrupt Africa reporting earlier this week another Nigerian fintech, Chaka, had acquired the Digital Sub-Broker/Sub-Broker Serving Multiple Brokers Through a Digital Platform License.