Nigerian fintech startup Cowrywise has launched a new feature that allows users to invest in mutual funds with as little as NGN100 (US$0.30).
The startup, which last year raised funding from early-stage VC firm Microtraction and took part in the Silicon Valley-based Y Combinator accelerator programme, now also allows Nigerians to invest in mutual funds, financial vehicles whereby multiple investors pool funds to invest in securities such as stocks and bonds.
Cowrywise launched the new service in a bid to address the lack of inclusivity of mutual funds, which has resulted in less than 400,000 Nigerians having such investments. It has partnered top investment houses such as Meristem and Afrinvest to give Nigerians access to multiple mutual funds all in one app. These mutual funds invest in companies and high-quality fixed income securities. The startup has also introduced a Systematic Investment Plan, which allows users to automate investment of fixed amounts into mutual funds over a period of time.
“Ultimately, we have built a platform that allows us to give access to investing in mutual funds to everyday Nigerians, thereby providing a credible pipeline to improve retail participation in the Nigerian capital market. Our mission here is to provide access to over 10 million Nigerians by 2025 to build wealth through legitimate and professionally managed investment vehicles,” Cowrywise said.
“Our all-new process will be taking these challenges head-on, thereby making it possible for the everyday person in Nigeria to invest in multiple mutual funds right from the comfort of their phones, with as low as NGN100.”
Cowrywise co-founder and chief executive officer (CEO) Razaq Ahmed told Disrupt Africa services like this have been part of the startup’s strategy from day one.
“Mutual funds are a solid investment vehicle to broaden that asset class mix on Cowrywise. While this enables millennials to invest for the first time, the simplification of the entire process and the varieties of funds on the platform also means existing investors will find it more convenient to use Cowrywise instead of the traditional approach of investing,” he said.
Ahmed said the startup would be introducing more features around financial planning, and was also planning geographic expansion.
“It is about building a complete experience around wealth management services for the mass market,” he said.
“We are looking at how the whole of Africa can benefit from intra-African retail investment opportunities, and between Africa and the rest of the world.”