The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of Nigeria has granted Cowrywise a Fund/Portfolio Management License, allowing it to function as a fully-fledged funding management company.
Cowrywise, founded by Razaq Ahmed and Edward Popoola in 2017, provides easy-to-access, goal-oriented savings and investing products with more competitive performance rates than traditional alternatives.
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.
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.
The startup currently has 21 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 individualized needs of each consumer, many of whom had previously never made an investment.
The SEC’S grant of a fund/Portfolio Management license emboldens the startup in its ambition of onboarding 10 million retail investors to the formal investment management industry by 2025.It currently has 300,000 registered users ,and closed a US$3 million funding round in January to help it expand.
“We are excited to issue the first license in the fund/portfolio management category to a fintech player in Nigeria, Cowrywise. This is a demonstration of our resolve to support technology innovation in the development of the Nigerian capital market while making investor protection a priority,” said Emomotimi Agama, head of registration, exchanges, market infrastructure and innovation at the SEC.