There is a growing number of African fintech platforms connecting investors to international markets.
Leading the charge are a handful of Nigerian start-ups that have built apps that allow retail investors to access stock markets and foreign asset classes in markets such as the US.
Bamboo, Chaka, Trove and Rise Vest have all emerged from West African countries in recent years, promising to give Nigerians access to cross-border investment opportunities as a way to hedge against exchange rate volatility and inflation. I’m here.
As Rise Vest co-founder and product lead Tony Odiba told PYMNTS in an interview, Nigeria’s macroeconomic conditions pose a challenge for investors limited to high-risk Naira-based assets. . And even if these worked well, “due to inflation, the real returns were terrible,” he explained.
Explaining the company’s vision, Odiba said the Rise Vest platform began by helping clients invest in stocks and real estate. Since then, the company has grown to cover multiple asset classes and evolved into a digital platform that combines financial management and advisory services.
The basic model of Trove, another Nigerian investment platform, is similar to well-known investment and trading apps like Robin Hood, with Trove acting as an intermediary that enables trading and allowing users to access fractional shares. has become
Moving away from the Robinhood model, Bamboo has taken a more scrutinized approach, filtering out riskier stocks and selecting just a handful of investment opportunities to present to clients.
And like Bamboo, Rise Vest’s approach is focused on curation and catering to consumers who aren’t necessarily seasoned investors.
As Odiba emphasized, many Rise Vest users are ordinary Nigerians looking for a return on their savings.
“We weren’t looking for something crazy, we were looking for something stable where money could appreciate over time,” he said.
To create such opportunities, Rise Vest allows users to choose between equities, real estate, or a combination of both, but leaves portfolio fine-tuning to investment professionals, allowing investors to choose from individual Choose an opportunity, choose when and what kind of opportunity to choose. sell.
“We manage [and] Basically you have access to all these companies in different locations. […] It is our own business philosophy,” explains Odiba.
Challenges of Africa’s Inflationary Economy
Nigeria is a hotbed of fintech innovation, but the challenges of currency depreciation and limited access to dollar-based investments are also facing other African countries.
Pointing to similar macroeconomic conditions across the continent, Odiva said Rise Vest is currently exploring geographic expansion options.
“Many Africans want exposure to markets and asset classes. [and] Adapting the model to other African markets will need to take into account on-the-ground challenges, such as different payment setups, he added.
Opportunities in other African markets are not lost on Rise Vest’s Nigerian peers. Bamboo, for example, officially launched in Ghana in September, which happens to be one of the markets Rise Vest has been eyeing.
Beyond regional expansion, the success of the Nigerian investment app will be its ability to empower users with a clear and intuitive interface.
As such, Odiba said: [in] their investment journey. ”
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