BY TOM JACKSON
Nigerian startup Cowrywise, a digital wealth management and financial planning solution, has raised US$3 million in pre-Series A funding to expand its product offering, support the onboarding of more fund managers, and build out its investment management infrastructure.
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 19 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.
Cowrywise has been expanding its offering of late, and that process is set to continue after it secured US$3 million in pre-Series A funding in a round led by fintech-focused VC Quona Capital and also featuring Sahil Lavingia, Tsadik Foundation and a syndicate of Nigerian angels both locally and in the diaspora.
“The majority of Nigerians under 35 years old have limited access to quality savings and investment products, despite historically high levels of digital connection. The ability to save and invest to build wealth is critical for Nigerians in particular, because they are young and major purchases typically require a full capital commitment upfront, making forward-looking savings and investment products a critical component of reaching financial goals,” said Ahmed, who is the startup’s chief executive officer (CEO).
“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.”
Johan Bosini, partner at Quona Capital, said savings was a critical aspect of life in Nigeria, where more than 80 million people live below the country’s poverty rate and most purchases or rentals require a full lump sum payment.
“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,” he said.