An international venture capitalist firm Flourish recently hosted a forum for stakeholders in the financial services sector in Nigeria’s financial capital Lagos.
The gathering brought together Nigerian startup founders and financial experts who shared thoughts on how to complement the financial services sector’s drive for financial inclusion with attaining financial health for domestic households.
In his opening address the Managing Partner of Flourish, Arjuna Costa briefed the audience on the company’s investment in impact fintech startups across 52 countries around the world.
It currently has investment in three startups in Nigeria. The venture capitalist’s first footprint in the Nigerian business terrain was in 2012, in payment solution service provider Paga and subsequently Lidya a financial services company that assists small business owners with access to capital and Flutterwave, payment startup.
Speaking briefly in his introductory remark on financial health, Flourish’s Principal Ameya Upadhyay said, “Over the past few years, we have been moving our gaze from expanding products access to improving customer outcomes. Because, financial services are a means to an end, instead of asking how many bank accounts did we newly open?
The real question should be, what households did we help manage their day to day cash flows? Did we make them more resilient against shocks in the future? Did we help them capture long term value? Banks don’t sell loans, but we ask, how can we help a mother send her child to college, with a combination of loans and credit as applicable?”
The Managing Partner of Flourish, Arjuna Costa was moderator of the discussion on the subject. Those on the discussion panel were Laurin Hainy, CEO/Co-founder of Fairmoney, a micro lending fintech startup, Razak Ahmed, CEO of Cowrywise a retail wealth management company. Other panelists include Segun Adeniyi, Head, Africa Fintech Foundry, an innovation hub powered by Access Bank, primarily to drive innovation and disruption using technology and Yinka Adewale, Co-founder/CEO of Kudi, a money transfer and digital payment service platform.
Laurin Hainy shared how his business is learning through direct feedback from customers what their real challenges are, and how Fairmoney is helping its customers make money by granting them small loans.
Similarly, Razak Ahmed’s Cowrywise has adapted its product offerings to the important life moments of its customers. The platform has been designed to support customers’ short and long term aspirations.
The forum also gave attendees the opportunity to network.