Start-ups seek investors at ARM demo day
As the Fintech ecosystem in Nigeria continues to grow and attract patronage and support, six start-ups succeeded in making a big impression on industry watchers and potential investors at a Demo Day organised by ARM, in partnership with Ventures Platform.
The Demo Day, which signalled the end of ARM’s Corporate Accelerator programme, aimed at showcasing the progress made by the six start-ups was held at Impact Hub, Ikoyi, Lagos.
The programme, tagged, Labs by ARM, is an innovative plan designed to support start-ups to leverage technology, applications, and services to solve specific problems, and unlock verticals and markets thereby changing how users’ access and consumption of financial services.
As part of the project, a 12-week accelerator programme was launched in February, designed to help six early and growth stage Fintech start-ups to commercialise and grow the distribution of their products and services.
The selected teams participated in deep-dive sessions to ascertain the health of the start-ups, and were supported to create unique strategies for solving the challenges. Programme mentors and advisors, who are also thought-leaders in their field, provided support around business growth, product-market fit, and distribution; helping the start-ups navigate specific challenges.
Within three months, one of the companies went live with their mobile app, another start-up grew the number of on-boarded customers from 6,000 plus to 10,000, further securing a partnership to onboard an additional 250,000 customers.
Explaining the rationale behind the project, Managing Director, ARM Financial Advisors, Herrietta Bankole-Olushina, explained that the idea of Labs by ARM is to partner and find a way to collaborate with the Fintech ecosystem.
According to her, the project was organised to tap into innovation available within the Fintech space, and address many of the challenges they see with ARM as a business, while also growing their market especially within the retail space.
Bankole-Olushina said ARM’s expectation is to have viable companies to integrate, to expand their offering to the retail finance services space, while also broaden its businesses and become potential investors in some of these start-ups.
The six start-ups that presented their innovations included Trove, a self-directed trading mobile application that allows Africans to invest in financial securities, Asusu. It builds infrastructure for informal micro-financial services by digitising the financial activities of low income and daily earners through cooperatives, trade groups, and agent networks and partnerships.
Also, Payday Investor, a mobile and web application that allows users to invest in ARM money market fund, and Tsaron Technology, which offers group insurance in a ticket through vehicle monitoring, driver monitoring and through issued passenger tickets.
Others include Ogaranya, a platform for merchants to accept orders via SMS from their users and payment over USSD and Fint, a loan marketplace that connects Nigerians looking for affordable credit with Nigerians.