Kenyan Wealth-tech Startup Ndovu launches in Nairobi.


Wealth-tech startup Ndovu has officially been launched today at a media event in Nairobi, Kenya by its co-founders Radhika Bhachu, Ro Nyangeri, and Gianpaolo De Biase.

Ndovu’s CEO, Ms. Bhachu, is an investment specialist with 11 years of experience advising  global 500 companies around the world.

She previously worked for BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, in the United Kingdom. Ro Nyangeri, Ndovu’s CCO, was previously the Nairobi Securities Exchange’s Head of Strategy.

Ndovu’s CTO, Gianpaolo De Biase, is a serial entrepreneur with experience building and scaling digital products in a variety of marketplaces around the world.

Ndovu, which is available on both the Google Play and Apple App Stores, allows users to access global financial markets quickly and easily.

It was founded in 2020 as a result of the conclusion that Kenya’s present investment options exclude the vast majority of Kenyans due to market access issues and excessive management costs.

It takes off in a Kenyan market where the aggregate value of wealth under management by different collective investment schemes stood at KSh117 billion ($81.02b) in June 2021, having grown from KSh56 billion ($493m) in September 2017, as per data from the Capital Markets Authority (CMA).

“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.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,” Radhika said.

By using Ndovu, which is regulated by the Capital Markets Authority (CMA), users can invest as little as KSh5,000 ($50) in local and global investments.

“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,” said Ro.

Ndovu enters a wealth-tech industry that is still in its infancy in Africa. Traditional players in the region are yet to adopt the innovations that would enable them to serve a diverse portfolio of clients.

“At Ndovu, we are playing a key role in financial inclusion by opening up the previously-gated financial markets to all. We are also demystifying investments by breaking down financial jargon with an easy-to-use platform” said De Biase.

It is its innovation that has seen Ndovu secure investor confidence through undisclosed pre-seed funding from 4DX Ventures, Plug and Play Tech Center, Future Africa, and Oui Capital.

Ndovu has current active users and plans to onboard over 1,000,000 users by expanding into other countries within the next three years.

Walter Baddo, Co-founder and General Partner, 4DX Ventures, said: “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.”

The startup has received a number of prizes, including a development grant from Zilliqa, the blockchain project that pioneered sharding, 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 placed first in Africa’s New Venture Competition at Princeton University (2020).

This comes on top of the company being selected for the highly competitive Google for Startups Accelerator in 2021, the same year it was recognized by the Co-Creation Hub for its work to empower women.