Nigerian Fintech Startup Awabah Joins Techstars London Accelerator Programme

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Awabah, a Lagos-based digital platform that provides pension access to Africa’s self-employed, has been accepted into the Techstars London accelerator program.

The startup is dedicated to providing micro-pension services to those working in the informal sector and whose employers are not legally required to deduct and remit pension contributions. It will join nine other startups in the class of 2021 and receive funding from the accelerator as it seeks to expand into Africa.

Tunji Andrews, Tina Ajishebiyawo, and Gboyega Olatunde founded the Lagos-based company to provide financial security for Africa’s informal, particularly self-employed, population by ensuring that they securely plan for retirement. Awabah quickly signed over 700 clients in its first two months after launching in November 2020.

In July 2021, Awabah secured $200,000 in angel funding from early-stage investors such as ODBA and Co Ventures, as well as Correlation Capital. The investment enabled the company to expand its operations in Lagos and Ibadan. Over the next six months, the startup intends to expand its services to five more Nigerian cities.

The startup has now partnered with three Nigerian Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) and hopes to expand to five by the end of 2021. The collaborations will be followed by multi-city rollouts to provide millions of Africans with access to the Awabah benefit.

“Awabah in simple terms is an aggregator of wealth creation tools that are sorely lacking on the continent. We onboard the financial service providers, break their products into bite size chunks, sprinkle a bit of the Awabah magic on it, and give this leverage to our customers. What’s even greater is that our services come completely at no charge to the customer. Financial services should liberate, not enslave,” Tunji Andrews said.

According to Tina Ajishebiyawo,                                

“It’s not that people in informal employment are too uneducated to control their finances. Quite the opposite. They manage highly complicated budgets on very tight margins. Effective retirement planning and savings help our customers more effectively confront the problems that keep them stuck in an inefficient cycle. Nigerians and indeed Africans have money – but their incomes are unpredictable and insecure; Awabah is fixing this.”