In many African households, money is a topic that is often avoided, so the continent is lacking in financial literacy. A topic like ‘investment’ can create varied opinions as most people are afraid to take risks.
However, even though financial literacy has a lot of room for improvement, technology has grown tremendously in the continent. Africa has embraced digital transformation with technology growing in the continent. In this light, technology needs to be used to promote financial literacy.
This is what wealth-tech startup Ndovu is seeking to deliver to the East African region in an attempt to promote a saving and investing culture. Launched in February 2022, Ndovu is an online investment platform that provides easy access to local and global financial markets.
The Ndovu platform allows users to invest with as little as $50 making it possible for more people to begin their investment journey. Ndovu was founded upon the realization that current investment options in Kenya lock out the vast majority due to complexities around market access, high investment amounts and high management fees.
The wealth-tech startup has made significant steps since its launch and has most recently signed a strategic partnership with AfroPop band, Sauti Sol. This partnership will be geared towards educating more people in the East African region about investment and how they can use the Ndovu platform to get the best investment options.
Speaking at the partnership launch event in Westlands Nairobi, Ndovu’s CEO and Co-founder, Radhika Bhachu, highlighted the importance of working with key industry influencers to enhance financial literacy and inclusion among the youth.
“Educating the youth on money management is one of Ndovu’s key pillars. We believe it is crucial to help our brothers and sisters to achieve financial freedom. The medium via which today’s youth consume educational content has changed significantly. They are no longer inspired by traditional teaching styles but are instead inspired by digital influencers. Our partnership with Sauti Sol is deliberate as they have a mission similar to ours around inclusion, financial education, economic empowerment and ownership,” she said.
Technology in Investment
The Ndovu App is a technological feature that is aimed at using tech to help people make better investment decisions. It is an app that gauges the kind of investor you are after answering some questions on registration.
Whenever people think about investing, the thought that crosses their mind mostly is the risk in it. A lot of people who invest in Africa, put their money in money market funds or government bonds. This is because these are low risk investment options and almost guarantees an interest.
Speaking to dx5 at the launch of their partnership with Sauti Sol, Ndovu co-founder and CEO Radhika Bhachu, said that the Ndovu platform guides you on the best investment to make and reduces the risk for you.
“There are thousands of investment funds out there and as an everyday investor you don’t know what to pick. We are bringing the technology platform that has looked at all these options and put these funds through a risk and compliance process built on our knowledge and experience,” Radhika noted.
However, it is important to note that investing in the app doesn’t guarantee an interest but rather minimizes your risk margin.
“With investment, every different type of investment is guaranteed in its different way. So, holding a money market fund is less risk so it’s more guaranteed. Equities, to be honest are risky but the thing is because we are not holding one equity fund, you are being smart in the way that you invest so it brings down the risk,” she added.
Technology has come in to help things easier in most areas with the rise of agri-tech, fin-tech, sacco-tech and more. Perhaps it is time for the rise of wealth-tech.