Five Nigerian Fintech Start-ups have emerged as the winners of the second edition of the LABS by Asset and Resource Management Holding Company (ARM). Each of them will receive $20,000 equity funding and additional growth support.
The selection phases for the second LABS by ARM Accelerator
In November 2019, the application for second round of the LABS initiative opened and 191 start-ups applied. After rigorous scrutiny of applications, 33 made it to the second stage. It was really a tug of war for the board of examiners to churn off 22 other start-ups. In other words, only 11 outstanding start-ups meet best meet the requirements of the scheme and were invited to ARM headquarters in Ikoyi, Lagos State, Nigeria for one-on-one interview with seasoned professionals, business experts, and technology entrepreneurs. Finally, only five out of the 11 start-ups made the final list and have been invited to the accelerator programme.
What LABS by ARM Accelerator stands for
The aim of the LABS by ARM accelerator programme is to support the best earl-stage start-ups that solve problem in the financial industry. The programme is structured in a way to get post-MVP (Minimum Viable Product) fintech start-ups to the best standard that fits product market stage. With this initiative, each of the five start-ups will be given $20,000 in equity funding and be trained, mentored, networked with other entrepreneurs, and supported.
Profiles of the five start-ups
The five start-ups that are selected for the second round of LABS by ARM Accelerator Programme are Truesaver, Owoafara, Rise, Quantis Finance, and Kwaba.
Truesaver is a lending platform that leverages on rotational savings to provide zero-interest loans to entrepreneurs. It is a digital version of what Yoruba people call “Ajo”, that is thrift collection. However, in thrift collection, you only collects what you have saved after the end of the month and the thrift collector takes the first savings of every month. Amazingly, Truesaver is a contact-based platform that allows individual to save a set amount monthly over a period and the lump sum is given to each saver monthly on rotation.
Rise is a platform that connects customers with the best investment opportunities globally, without any stress or hassle.
Owoafara is another lending platform that curates, verifies, and matches businesses with financial institutions for loans. It also provides support for start-ups that do not qualify for financing to enable the businesses to develop, grow, and strengthen their proposals to gain access to funding in no time.
Quantis Finance is a company that leverages on technology to automate trading and investments to make financial markets and tools more accessible to local investors.
The last but not the least is Kwaba. Kwaba is a property renting- financing platform that solves the problems of bulk payment of rent payment for low to middle-income earners in Nigeria. Kwaba makes the upfront rent payment for retail customers and allows customers to pay their rents on a monthly basis.