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ARM Holding Company Lists 6 Mutual Funds on Cowrywise

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Today, Mutual Funds from Asset & Resource Management Holding Company (ARM) can now be accessed through Cowrywise. These new mutual funds, managed by ARM Investment Managers, swell the growing list of SEC-registered mutual funds now easily accessible on Cowrywise by retail investors nationwide. Also, this deepens our position as the platform with the highest collection of mutual funds in Nigeria.

Meet ARM: One Of Nigeria’ Top Asset Managers

Established in 1994, as an asset management firm, ARM, is  Nigeria’s largest non-bank financial services firm with the primary objective of providing a platform that meets all the investment needs of individuals. ARM Group’s retail products comprise mutual funds, estate planning services, wills, pension, stockbroking services, and real estate.

Currently, it manages 6 mutual funds and all of them are now available on Cowrywise. Get them here with any comfortable amount. This partnership with ARM dovetails into our commitment to help change the way Nigerians invest.

Speaking on the collaboration, Henrietta Bankole-Olusina; Managing Director, ARM Financial Advisers, stated; “Our goal is to empower more individuals to fulfil their dreams and encourage them to imbibe a healthy investment habit. Our range of mutual funds caters to different needs depending on their investment goal and risk profile.

How Do Nigerians “Invest”?

In 2019, when mutual fund assets hit the ₦1 trillion mark, Nigerians spent ₦730 billion on sports betting. That means, in 2019, 73% of the industry’s total value was equal to what Nigerians spent betting in just one year. Diving deeper into the report, we see that the drivers for this adoption are:

• Affordability

• Ease of access

• Ease of understanding

• The hope of expected returns

Sadly the adoption of betting has done more harm than good in general. Hence, to place people on a sustainable path of wealth there is a gaping need to make investments simple and clear about their rewards.

Starting in 2017, we launched into the market with a digital savings product. The process was (and is still) simple, people save any comfortable amount and we help invest the bulk in treasury bills and bonds to earn returns. Alongside, we curate a robust finance education system that simplifies money for the everyday person.

These efforts positioned us to initiate our core plan of helping everyday people access high-end investments through mutual funds. On May 21, 2019, we started off with four mutual funds. Today, we have nineteen high-profile mutual funds.

The Journey To 10 Million First-time Investors

Partnering with top fund managers across the country, we will bridge the gap of onboarding and educating the average Nigerian. In essence, we are easing up more time for fund managers to grow wealth while we drive up demand. Our commitment is to introduce 10 million first time investors to mutual funds in the next five years.

ARM Mutual Funds: The Details

The ARM suite of mutual funds is a diverse one. Its offerings fit the desires of various types of investors. Below are its current offerings.

ARM Money Market Fund: this is a low-risk fund that invests in instruments like treasury bills. A good fit for short term investors.

ARM Fixed Income Fund: like other fixed-income funds, this is a medium-risk fund. It’s a great option for medium to long term goals, as it can serve as a source of steady income.

• ARM Ethical Fund: helps investors put their money in firms that align with a strict ethical selection.

ARM Discovery Balanced Fund: designed for a balance between equities and fixed income. It’s a medium-risk fund.

ARM Aggressive Fund: got a long-term view? This is your fund. Though high-risk, it helps your investments grow over the long term. 

ARM Eurobond Fund: this fund gives you access to investment instruments denominated in United States’ Dollars. Also, it is excellent for protecting your investments from currency depreciation. 

ARM Funds on Cowrywise

Today, all above-listed funds, and thirteen others, are accessible on Cowrywise with any amount and in few clicks. There’s no better deal than this. We say this as the number one marketplace for mutual funds in Nigeria. 

Currently, we offer the most diverse basket of mutual funds in Nigeria. To top that up, we provide relatable advice at no extra cost and you get to invest with any comfortable amount.

To buttress this, Yarmirama Ashama, Product Manager at Cowrywise, described the recent partnership as an expansion of the opportunities that come with investing with mutual funds. In her words, “We cannot raise a new generation of investors alone. This is why partnerships with fund managers like ARM are important. Having them onboard feeds this vision, and we are excited about the results that will follow.”

Confused about what fund to pick? Check this guide.

How to Invest in ARM Funds

To start investing in a few minutes, follow these steps:

• Signup here

• Tap “Invest in Mutual Funds”

• Start investing

How to List your Fund as a Fund Manager

Over the past year, we have opened up the retail market for top fund managers. With a bespoke retail and onboarding process, we have brought a younger demographic of first-time investors into the mutual funds’ space. 

Currently, our audience age range sits between 21 and 35 years. If you want to improve the visibility of your funds to this demography, you should join us on the journey to 10 million. Please send an email to mutualfunds@cowrywise.com.

Got questions about how mutual funds work? Start with this guide

Issued by Cowrywise

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Investment

Chaka secures $1.5M pre-seed round to power digital investments and wealth management opportunities across Africa

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Chaka CEO, Tosin Osibodu at a press briefing (Image & Press Release: Chaka)

Chaka is thrilled to announce its $1.5M pre-seed funding round led by Breyer Capital, a global venture firm focused on catalyzing growth in high-impact companies like Spotify, Facebook, and now, Chaka. Other participants in the round are 4DX Ventures, Golden Palm Investments, Future Africa, Seedstars, and Musha Ventures.

Chaka is a technology solutions company on a mission to enable every business and person in Africa to access borderless digital investment and wealth management opportunities. The team combines investment expertise and best-in-class technology to provide reliable digital Investing, trading and wealth management solutions that are easy-to-use and easy-to-integrate.

Their mission is to enable digital border-less investing for African businesses and individuals. They’re powering the digital investment landscape in Africa through partnerships with asset managers, financial technology firms, and regulators with whom we have a shared mission. We achieve this by providing trading solutions that are easy to use and easy to integrate.

With this capital, they will focus on the goals to build a roster of formidable partners and accelerate expansion to other markets within West Africa. This investment also enables them to hire top talent and integrate more advanced functionalities into our investment and wealth management solutions.

Jim Breyer, CEO of Breyer Capital, shared his view on this investment and it illustrates their shared vision: “We are proud to align ourselves with a company that is leveling the investment playing field for Nigerians (and Africans at large). We’re confident in the value Chaka provides through its digital tools, and we look forward to playing our part in supporting Tosin, Bo, Olaolu, and the Chaka team.”

This is a significant milestone for Chaka and could not have come this far without their users, partners, early investors, and a talented, achieving team of Champions.

They see digital investments as a means to boost economic transformation in Africa, and we’re very keen to bring this vision to life.

 

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elmenus, Egypt’s Leading Food App Secures $10M Pre-Series C from Fawry, Luxor Capital and Marakez

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Co-Founders (Image: elmenus)

elmenus and Fawry to co-develop innovative solutions for restaurants and customers

Luxor Capital’s first investment in the MENA region, previous investments include the biggest food ordering platforms globally, such as Zomato, Deliveryhero and Glovo

elmenus, Egypt’s biggest food discovery and ordering platform, has secured new funding from three new investors, based in the MENA region and North America. Fawry Group, the renowned digital transformation and e-payment platform is leading the investment from Egypt. The investment follows Fawry’s new strategy to take minority stakes in fast-growing, Egyptian, technology businesses. As well as investing, Fawry will work closely with elmenus to develop innovative solutions to benefit restaurants and consumers. Also investing is Marakez, a leading Egyptian real estate developer.

Ashraf Sabry, CEO of Fawry, said: “Fawry is looking forward to its journey with elmenus, working closely with the executive team and entering many ventures together.  By this investment, we show our desire to not only be a payment catalyst but to be a strategic partner to elmenus, its customers, restaurants and their riders. The Egyptian food space has high growth potential, with technology disrupting the status quo, as customers’ needs in food service provision rapidly change.”

From North America, investment has also been received from New York-based hedge fund, Luxor Capital Group, which has $11 billion of assets under management. elmenus is its first investment in the MENA region testament to its’ growth track record and market opportunity in Egypt. Luxor has a long history of successfully investing in food technology companies around the world.

Amir Allam, CEO of elmenus, commented: “Attracting new investment from Fawry, Luxor Capital and Marakez – following the endorsement of industry veteran, David Buttress, earlier this year – validates elmenus’ unique strategy. We are accelerating the adoption of online ordering by users, while enabling restaurants with new verticals – to help them scale. This funding demonstrates the investors’ strong belief in our position in Egypt, and our capability to dominate the market.”

elmenus, which now has over 1.5 million monthly users, is the most comprehensive platform for restaurant information and food discovery in Egypt, and its aim is to personalize food recommendations at a dish level. elmenus continues to expand rapidly, and today’s announcement follows the investment and board appointment of David Buttress – the former CEO of global food ordering firm, JustEat – announced earlier this year.

By the end of 2021, elmenus expects to empower 12,000 restaurants with new data and tool offerings to help them scale their businesses, across 20 Egyptian cities. Its cutting-edge digital solutions will also drive its existing database of several million users, to switch to online ordering.

 

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MarketForce secures $2M Pre-Series A round, plans to launch in Nigeria and scale up RejaReja in East Africa

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MarketForce Co-founders, Tesh Mbaabu (Left) and Mesongo Sibuti (Right) (Image & Release: MarketForce)

Kenyan-based MarketForce, a B2B platform for retail distribution of consumer goods and digital financial services in Africa, announces a $2 million Pre-Series A round, bringing total funding to-date to $2.5 million. With this fresh round of funding, MarketForce has brought on V8 Capital, Future Africa, Greenhouse Capital, Launch Africa, Rebel Fund, Remapped Ventures, and a couple of strategic angel investors as new investors. They joined Y Combinator and existing investor P1 Ventures, who also participated in the oversubscribed round.

In sub-Saharan Africa, approximately 90% of household retail transactions are in cash, and delivered through a network of about 100 million MSMEs, with 42 million in Nigeria alone. Retail payments on the continent are expected to top $2.1 trillion by 2025, and MarketForce aims to digitize a large portion of these offline transactions.

Co-founded in 2018 by Tesh Mbaabu and Mesongo Sibuti, MarketForce uniquely combines a field sales automation SaaS solution with it’s “RejaReja” B2B marketplace to digitize how informal retail merchants buy and sell FMCGs and digital financial services. RejaReja helps these corner shops, commonly referred to as ‘dukas’ in Kenya, get better service, assortment, and access to new revenue opportunities, outfitting them with the technology and support they need to transform themselves from simple FMCG outlets to comprehensive financial service hubs for the continent’s last-mile communities. Currently available in Kenya, RejaReja offers informal retailers next-day delivery for hundreds of SKUs from the leading FMCG brands.

Last month, MarketForce announced the strategic acquisition of Digiduka, which was formed and funded during the inaugural cohort of the Antler programme in Nairobi. This was a huge fintech step forward as RejaReja now provides a wallet that allows retailers to collect mobile money and bank payments via mobile app, WhatsApp bot or USSD shortcode, eliminating the high mobile money transaction fees and enabling merchants accept digital payments, access working credit and earn more by acting as distribution agents for popular financial services such as airtime, bills, utilities, and even insurance.

With this round of funding, MarketForce plans to launch in Nigeria and to scale up RejaReja to more towns in East Africa.

“We are seeing significant demand for our radically improved way for companies to distribute their goods and services in Africa, and we’re thrilled to get a boost from returning and new investors at this crucial time,” said Tesh Mbaabu, Co-founder and CEO of MarketForce. “The combination of our technology with the offline distribution network that we are building is essential to creating maximum output and impact in African retail distribution. Our goal is to create income growth opportunities for a million retailers and independent sales agents across Africa within the next five years.” 

“Our clients and partners understand MarketForce’s power to increase sales performance and productivity across markets and industries,” said Co-founder and CTO Mesongo. “We are building the operating system for retail distribution in Africa, and we have the right combination of technology and team to make our Pan-African vision a reality.” 

Today, MarketForce clients are able to gain access to both our software and the RejaReja marketplace, which has garnered over 15,000 retail customers, processing thousands of orders daily, and we are experiencing double digit revenue growth month over month. The MarketForce SaaS product on the other hand has garnered over 10,000 monthly active users, with over 300,000 transactions worth over 500 Million USD processed to date through the platform in 3 key markets; Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. Clients and partners include Safaricom, Pepsi, Grain Industries, Fort Beverages, Madison Insurance, Platinum Credit, Momentum Credit, Letshego, Pezesha and Lami.

A happy RejaReja customer in Nairobi (MarketForce)

“We are glad to be backing MarketForce in this round of funding, given their ability to build a differentiated, powerful and all-inclusive digital commerce platform for informal retailers in Africa. Similar to Paystack, another successful African YC company who targets merchants selling online, RejaReja targets the millions of underserved informal merchants who are still offline when it comes to business automation and payments,” said Tobi Oke, Managing Partner at V8 Capital Partners. 

“We are proud to back MarketForce to build the future of retail in Africa and help catalyze the digitization of the African retail market, which is highly informal, fragmented and undigitized, but holds a lot of untapped potential to improve incomes and enable millions of African retailers to grow their businesses. MarketForce sits in a place that enables them to generate a lot of value and empower every single participant in the massive retail industry,” said Adenike Sheriff, Principal at Future Africa. 

“We are excited to strengthen our partnership with MarketForce,” said Mikael Hajjar, Managing Partner at P1 Ventures. “MarketForce is one of the fastest-growing African leaders in sales and distribution automation technology. We’ve witnessed the pain point that MarketForce’s product addresses and how its customers realize major productivity gains over substitutes.” 

“I have known Mesongo and Tesh for over two years and MarketForce has proven that they know how to leverage the entire retail supply chain as a gateway for digital payments. Their organic as well as acquisition-driven growth & expansion strategy thus far has proven that their understanding of unit economics and marginal customer acquisition costs is solid. As a pan-African fintech company, they are very well positioned to tap into the $700 billion that gets transacted in this space every year,” said Zachariah George, Managing Partner at Launch Africa. 

 

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