Fintech Company Cowrywise Gets Fund Manager Licence

Fintech Company Cowrywise Gets Fund Manager Licence

By Bashir Olanrewaju

Cowrywise,  a Nigerian financial-technology company popular with young people, said it secured a licence from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to operate as a fund or portfolio manager.

“We are the first fintech in Nigeria to get this license,” the Lagos-based company said in a statement on its website.

It becomes the second fintech firm to announce it obtained SEC licence to operate in the past week. Chaka Technologies, which brokers international equities trading, said last week it had obtained a licence for digital stockbroking. This is an indication of a trend of Nigerian fintechs moving toward getting direct regulatory authorization in place of partnerships with already registered operators.

Nigerian fintech companies emerged in circumstances that weren’t anticipated by the existing regulatory framework, according to Cowrywise, which worked with Meristem Trustees Limited. 

“No player had a license from the SEC to serve the Nigerian people,” Cowrywise said. “This doesn’t mean it was illegal to operate. Rather, it was an evolutionary process as the regulator sought to understand things better.”

Cowrywise,  founded in 2017, currently has more than 300,000 subscribers who use its app to buy mutual funds, including those denominated in foreign currency.  A total of 21 funds have so far been aggregated for buyers to choose from, with more in the pipeline. .