🎉 We are excited to announce we just closed a $3M pre-series A funding round, led by Quona Capital. This is Quona’s first investment in Nigeria and we feel humbled to be the vehicle they use in expressing their belief in the investment worthiness of the Nigerian startup ecosystem. Others participating in the round include Sahil Lavingia, Tsadik Foundation and a syndicate of Nigerian angels.
Making Wealth Management Accessible To Everyone!
This funding round strengthens our vision of making wealth management accessible to everyday people in Nigeria and moves us a step closer to our medium-term pan-African ambition. It means a lot to have the support of great investors who share our vision of democratising access to savings and investment products.
Johan Bosini (partner at Quona Capital) shared his view on this investment and it demonstrates how our visions align: “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”.
It feels good to be so in sync. The Cowrywise platform is designed to solve the problem of access by using a combination of free wealth advisory and consumer education paired with savings and investment offerings that can advance financial inclusion.
What This Enables Us To Do
The new funding will enable us to expand our product offerings, build out our nascent investment management infrastructure, onboard more fund managers in Nigeria, broaden our financial education program and continue to hire top talent. We believe making wealth management mainstream among first-time, retail investors has the potential to positively impact the financial future of any country, especially a country like Nigeria with young demography. Change in digital behaviour, innovation in digital infrastructure and continuous growth in the adoption of digital products have set the stage for a digital-first and scalable wealth management solution for the next generation. We are more than excited to have these tailwinds while we build Cowrywise.
Backed By People!
We could not have come this far without our loyal customers, the incredibly talented team at Cowrywise and the early backers of our vision; from the first believer, Microtraction, to the world-view-changing experience we had at Y Combinator, to the invaluable venture building support from Catalyst Fund. Each milestone ticked an important box in shaping the trajectory of Cowrywise as a company. We got a sense of the market-creating opportunity for the Cowrywise product during Office Hours with Aaron Harris, one of our partners in Y Combinator. ‘Razaq, you have the opportunity to create the market’ was his response to the obvious challenge of how possibly small and underserved the Nigerian market has been.
While it is challenging, that market-creating mindset finds expression in our product development and marketing initiatives to date. To paraphrase Javier Linares, Catalyst Fund handed us a superpower, data superpower. With their support, we were able to build out a more structured, company-wide data stack and wire every team in the company around a data-driven decision-making process.
Deepening The Retail Wealth Management Landscape
Our market-creating mindset is at the heart of our collaborative drive with leading industry fund managers. It is our honour to tread this journey with you all (Lotus Capital, Afrinvest, ARM, United Capital, Meristem Wealth Management and many more that will be onboarded on our mutual fund platform) – this journey of redefining and deepening the retail investment landscape in Nigeria to empower everyday people with access to credible investment products. It has proven to be a positive-sum game, and we are doubling down on that to bake a bigger pie for the entire industry. This is an important life work to us as it has the potential to touch the lives of millions of retail investors who are investing for the first time and whose financial future will be re-written for the better on the back of our shared vision.
Now armed with a product that users love, talent and capital, our growth flywheel is being boosted. I remember in the early days when we negotiated a volume discount on our gateway fee with one of our payment partners if we met 2 Million Naira monthly volume. We were not sure we could even do that volume a month. Moving from that to where we are today, we can’t but be upbeat about where we will be in 5 years.
On To The Next
To everyone who did the behind-the-scenes heavy lifting to ensure this round closed successfully, we are more than grateful to you for the opportunity to define the next growth phase for Cowrywise, our growing customer base and the investment management industry.
It is a privilege to be connected to a network of global investors supporting an amazing pool of innovators around the world. We are leveraging that vantage position to solve local problems with the potential to create value that transcends generations for millions of Nigerians and Africans.
Now, we go back to building, one strategic move at a time. We’ve only just begun.
ABOUT QUONA CAPITAL
Quona Capital is a venture firm focused on fintech for inclusion in emerging markets. Quona partners have deep experience as investors and operators in both emerging and developed markets, and look for entrepreneurs whose companies have the potential to provide outstanding financial returns and promote breakthrough innovation in financial inclusion. To date, Quona has supported more than 30 financial technology companies expanding access for underserved consumers and small businesses in Latin America, South and Southeast Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa. Quona got its start through a strategic relationship with Accion, a global nonprofit with a pioneering legacy in microfinance and fintech impact investing. The firm has offices in Washington D.C., Bangalore, Mexico City and Cape Town. For more information, visit quona.com.