Cowrywise, a Nigerian fintech startup has raised $3 million in its pre-Series A round led by Quona Capital.
The round saw participation from Sahil Lavingia. Sahil is the Founder and CEO of Gumroad. He is also an early-stage startup Investor cutting checks in the range of $100,000-$250,000.
Also, Tsadik Foundation is a named participant in the round. Interesting to note that the Foundation is one of the "Limited Partners" of Quona Capital by participating in Quona's own impact fund. And Quona Capital invests in fintech innovators, like Cowrywise, that are advancing inclusion in emerging markets.
Besides Quona, Sahil, and Tsadik, a syndicate of Nigerian Angels also participated in the round. The Nigerian Angel syndicate could be either Lagos Angel Network (LAN), Diaspora Angel Network (DAN), South-South/East Angel Network (SSEAN) or none of them. But LAN, DAN and SSEAN are some of the most active Angel Syndicates in the Nigeria's fintech space. They invested in Trove, a wealth-tech startup.
Cowrywise's fund raise
The traditional wealth management firms in Nigeria tend to focus on the rich thereby hindering small investors from playing the field of wealth creation. Cowrywise and its ilk of new age fintechs aim to bridge this gap.
Cowrywise is a digital financial services plaform that allows users to save and invest their funds. It was founded by Edward Popoola (CTO) and Razaq Ahmed (CEO) in 2017.
This pre-seed funding round reinforces their vision to making savings and wealth management accessible to everyone in Nigeria.
"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.
In a market of 200 million people, we think this will be very impactful for individuals to have more control over their financial future. We like the wealthtech space and the impact it can have in Nigeria in particular"—Johan Bosin, partner at Quona Capital
With over 220,000 registered users, Cowrywise plans to grow its user-base to 10 million by 2025. The fintech platform will achieve this by targeting a fraction of the underserved 20 million bank account owners in Nigeria, allowing them to grow wealth with as little as N100 ($0.25).
Having closed a new funding round, the startup plans to grow its product offerings and investment management infrastructure. They are also looking to onboard more fund managers while broadening their financial education program in Nigeria.
Cowrywise believes making wealth management easily accessible to retail investors will impact the financial future of Nigeria. The wide adoption of digital products in the country even makes it easier, as innovation sets the stage for a digitized accessible wealth management solution.
According to Razaq Ahmed, the CEO of Cowrywise, less than 1 million Nigerians invest in mutual funds. "We want to remove the barriers by making mutual funds and other investment options accessible. You can start investing in a few minutes. Our platform is transparent and you can see your investments on the go", he says.
The startup currently partners United Capital Asset Management, Meristem Wealth Management, Afrinvest Wealth Management, ARM Investment Managers, and Lotus Capital to pilot its mutual fund's offerings.
They also offer traditional wealth managers’ access to their API. This allows the managers to create a marketplace that allows users to select whatever offerings they deem fit. The API allows Cowrywise users to switch from one mutual fund to another without exiting the app.
Before this recent round, Cowrywise has closed rounds from Microtraction, YCombinator, Kairos, K-50, and Catalyst Fund. They will be the first African Startup in Quona Capital’s portfolio, as this is Quona capital’s first investment in Nigeria.
According to Johan Bosini, partner at Quona Capital, "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."
Quona Capital believes Cowrywise can on-board a generation of users who wants more than their economy provides.