Nigerian-based Fintech start-up, Cowrywise, has acquired the licence to operate as a fund/portfolio manager from Nigeria’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
With this development, Cowrywise becomes the first Nigerian fintech company to be granted such licence.
Emomotimi Agama, Head, Registration, Exchanges, Market Infrastructure and Innovation at the SEC, made comments on the licence granted Cowrywise, he said:
“We are excited to issue the first license in the fund/portfolio management category to a fintech player in Nigeria, Cowrywise. This is a demonstration of our resolve to support technology innovation in the development of the Nigerian capital market while making investor protection a priority.”
With this licence, Cowrywise now operates directly under the regulatory scope of the SEC. Cowrywise also noted that the SEC will now become its “guardian,” doubling down on its existing security structure.
Cowrywise, prior to acquiring the licence, used a trustee structure to offer investment opportunities in partnership with regulated entities like Meristem Trustees Limited.
The fintech would now be able to offer more for its fund manager partners, as well as the investors on its platform.
Cowrywise has also announced that it will be making its APIs public to help fund managers across the world to access its services and open up more investment options to serve customers better.
“Digitizing the investment management infrastructure is an important next step in our vision to democratize access to investment products. These APIs do not just apply to fintechs; any company can embed investment features in their products as our investment API simplifies regulatory, compliance and technical hurdles,” Cowrywise said.
Cowrywise, which began operations in 2017, said it is democratizing access to investment products for retail investors.
The company reveals that securing a Fund/ Portfolio Management license from the SEC has emboldened its ambition of onboarding 10 million retail investors to the formal investment management industry by 2025.
Cowrywise has about 300,000 registered users. It claims that its user base consists of young people with an average age of 26 years, who are mostly learning about investments for the first time.