Ndovu, a wealth-tech startup, has officially launched today in Nairobi, Kenya.
Founded in 2020 by finance and tech experts Radhika Bhachu, Ro Nyangeri, and Gianpaolo De Biase, Ndovu is an investment platform that provides easy access to financial markets with a vision to provide every African, regardless of income level or financial knowledge, with the right tools to grow their wealth.
Due to complexities in market access and high management fees, the current investment options exclude a majority of Kenyans from accessing global financial markets.
Ndovu is launching amidst the aggregate value of wealth under management by different collective investment schemes that stood at KSh117 billion ($81.02 billion) in June 2021, having grown from KSh56 billion ($493 million) in September 2017, according to the Capital Markets Authority (CMA).
Regulated by the Capital Markets Authority (Kenya) and The Institute of Certified Investment and Financial Analysts, Ndovu allows its users to invest a minimum of KSh5,000 ($50) in local and global investments.
"Our idea was born out of our passion to improve financial lives across Africa. Our vision is to provide every African, regardless of income level or financial knowledge, with the right tools to grow their wealth", Radhika said, adding that "We believe educating our people on how to make their money work for them will bring us one step closer to reducing poverty on the continent".
Aside from the launch, the startup raised undisclosed pre-seed funding from 4DX Ventures, Plug and Play Tech Center, Future Africa, and Oui Capital.
"The opportunity to create frictionless and low-cost investment products for all Africans remains an important mission that we believe in. The Ndovu team is building an innovative product that addresses the core investment needs of an increasingly mobile-first African population. We are excited to partner with them in this next chapter", Walter Baddo, Co-founder and General Partner, 4DX Ventures, stated.
The startup has won several awards, including a development grant from Zilliqa, the blockchain project that pioneered shading, a technology that splits platform infrastructure into several interconnected networks to support more transactions.
Ndovu also won first-place in the She Loves Tech competition (2021), and led the pack at Princeton in Africa's New Venture Competition (2020). This is in addition to being selected for the highly-competitive Google for Startups Accelerator in 2021, the same year it received recognition from the Co-Creation Hub for the work that it is doing to empower women.
How does Ndovu work?
Ndovu offers personalised financial advice, access to low-cost, globally diversified portfolios, dividend reinvestment, and financial education. Ndovu has two investment plans for its users:
- Basic Plan: 1% per year (the lowest in the industry). Minimum investment 5,000 Ksh ($50).
- Premium Plan: 0.75% per year. It provides access to a human expert financial advisor and bespoke insights. Minimum investment $1000
According to Ro Nyangeri, Ndovu's co-founder, "If you were to save $100 per month for 10 years in a bank account paying 2% per annum, you would earn $13,200. On the other hand, if you invest $100 per month for 10 years using Ndovu, into the S&P 500 fund, you could earn approximately $23,500".