Following a call for entries from eligible companies and a keenly competitive pitching process, seven innovative tech companies have qualified for much-needed seed funding in the COVID-19 Innovative Challenge (CIC).
Facilitated by Ventures Platform (VP), in partnership with Venture Garden Group (VGG) and several other key players in the Nigerian tech ecosystem, the challenge received more than 500 entries between 17 and 23 March 2020 from innovative startups with solutions tailored to combat the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria.
The solutions were reviewed through a three-phase selection process that culminated in a Virtual Demo Day on Thursday, 2 April 2020 where the seven finalists demonstrated their solutions before top officials of the Nigerian Center of Disease Control (NCDC), VP, VGG, Medical experts and key members of the Nigerian tech ecosystem.
Commenting on the COVID-19 Innovative Challenge, Chief Executive Officer, Venture Garden Group, Bunmi Akinyemiju said, “As a leading player in the Nigerian tech ecosystem, we are happy to collaborate with like-minded organisations to create and deploy tech solutions to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Besides financial support, VGG will also be providing mentorship and technical assistance to these startups as we work to strengthen health workers and government officials in the frontline of the crisis.”
The qualifying startups are:
Wellvis COVID Triage: A simple online & USSD-based self-administered risk-assessment tool for measuring the level of exposure to COVID-19 with a symptom logger for remote monitoring by a clinician.
GloEpid by Prunedge: A GPS and Bluetooth-based solution that improves efficiency of contact tracing by the NCDC as well as case reporting and management.
Infodemics by Ingenia Nigeria Limited: A risk communication platform that effectively connects health professionals and members of the public requiring medical help.
Driage by Caselink: A risk assessment tool for COVID-19 that matches individuals with the highest risk to the most appropriate clinical resource.
MyServiceAgent: An artificial intelligence -powered interactive voice response (IVR) system which can communicate with thousands of callers simultaneously.
Covid19 Nigeria: A platform that provides easy access to information as well as a broader and simpler disease tracing system.
Cmapit Analytics: A platform that helps researchers to better study data variables and make more accurate predictions through Geographic Information System (GIS) and data visualization solutions that provide geospatial data and analyses statistics regarding COVID-19.
“VGG’s participation in CIC is in alignment with one of our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) thrusts termed African Tech-Ecosystem Alignment where we promote collaborative initiatives amongst tech industry players for the benefit of the African continent. We congratulate Ventures Platform and all partners in this venture on the progress we have made in the last few days and urge the startups to double down on their efforts to deploy the initiatives,” concluded Akinyemiju.
In addition to opportunities for more funding, the seven successful startups will receive equity-free grants of $3,000 each, access to virtual workspace as well as other juicy perks.
In operation since 2011, VGG is a holding company and investor in several fintech companies addressing payment and data inefficiencies in various sectors and providing solutions for public and private sector companies.
From worry to ease: How FundBae is helping young Nigerians meet their money goals
FundBae strives to make money management, both practical and emotionally fulfilling.
In Nigeria today, data show that individuals have a high propensity to consume but a low tendency to save. High consumption simply means low savings and investments, which might be a function of the country’s economy typified by low incomes or poor salaries but could also be a reflection of a culture that doesn’t save or invest. Yet, low income should not be a reason not to save because savings and investments have the capacity to increase the quality of life, reduce risk and increase financial security.
In this context, FundBae simply provides savings and wealth management services targeted to the mass affluent and millennials via a well-designed, intuitive app. FundBae offers an easy-to-use application that offers flexible saving and higher interest rates on their savings offering up to 15% interest per annum relative to a traditional bank account.
Launched in November 2020, the money app has recorded over 7,500 users with over N200 million in transaction value. Users can simultaneously save, invest, and access loans at the most competitive interest rates.
The app empowers the users to maximize their happiness by saving, spending, and investing with their goals in mind.
Users have control over how much they save and earn depending on plans they opt for; a user can save and get interest paid every day that is easily accessible anytime. A user does not necessarily need to wait till maturity before accessing both interest and capital.
In a report released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) titled “2019 Poverty and Inequality in Nigeria”, it states that 40 percent of Nigeria’s population, or almost 83 million people live below the country’s poverty line of 137,430 Naira ($381. 75) per year. It means that lots of Nigerians live below the poverty line not just because they have low incomes or poor salaries, but perhaps the inability to imbibe a savings and investment culture.
Co-Founder, Sola Adeyinka, CFA stated that FundBae was born out of a passion for helping individuals achieve their financial goals, efficiently and seamlessly. In his words, “We started FundBae, which is a holistic and integrated goal-based experience that serves the financial life of our customers over the short, medium, and long term. We understand the struggles our customers face, and for this reason that is why the FundBae experience empowers our customers with services, resources to help them find fulfilment and happiness with their finances. FundBae is about more than just taking charge of your money – it’s your plan for money happiness and financial goals”.
How Does FundBae Work?
Flexibility is a critical factor for FundBae. That is why the platforms allow the users to explore and choose from the available plans. The company has developed Android and iOS versions making it easily accessible for any user on any device usage. An individual can subscribe to any of the following plans:
- FlexBae – a flexible savings account where a user earns interest on loose funds in as little as 24 hours, interests are paid daily, which is accessible freely within a specific duration. In this plan, users can access their interest from 8 am-4 pm on working days. The interest rate on the FlexBae plan is up to 12% per annum.
- VaultLite – this plan enables a user to save consistently towards a particular financial goal. The interest rate for a user Vault account is up to 10% per annum.
- VaultPlus – a fixed savings option that allows you to earn higher interest per annum. A user can decide to save for 3- 6 months or 2 years. The interest rate on your vault plus is up to 15% per annum. Interests are paid upfront.
- Save2B – this is a savings plan where a user earns a high-interest rate and qualify for a loan of up to 200% of your savings after consistent savings for six months.
FundBae strives to make money management, both practical and emotionally fulfilling. The challenge for many individuals is to break up their budgets into weekly allocations and develop a plan within their means and leave them feeling their needs are met. The FundBae founders are more focused on building a customer-centric product where users experience a modern banking experience based on goal setting and saving effortless, motivating, and even a little fun.
The Chief Operating Officer, Femi Darabidan, stated that “FundBae focuses on users to do more of what helps them master their money. “We will help achieve their goals by creating more personalized tools and experiences on the app for individual financial growth.”
The founders also stated that their target is to grow financial literacy for middle-class individuals and the millennials. To them, this will play a significant role in helping the users make reliable financial decisions. “We will create lots of avenues that will increase the financial literacy of our existing customers. We believe an individual can do their best to prepare for the future by getting their finances in order, no matter how much or how little they make.” Femi stated.
Money is personal, so FundBae is too. What are your goals? FundBae will help you save for near-term goals and invest for those further in the future also saving for all the wonderful things you want to experience.
For more details about FundBae, visit www.fundbae.ng
FundBae is also available on Play store and App Store, and on all social media @fundbaeng
Fidelity restates support to small business as Enugu First Lady, ABCON commend bank
The webinar is part of concerted efforts to assist entrepreneurs unlock their full potentials and take their businesses to the next level of growth.
Fidelity Bank Plc, top Nigerian lender has reaffirmed its commitment to enhancing the productivity and prosperity of Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the country by providing capacity building and advisory services, innovative funding options and other forms of relevant support that would significantly improve their overall contributions to national development.
Fidelity CEO, Mrs. Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe gave the assurance at the Fidelity SME National Capacity Building Webinar organized by the bank for entrepreneurs in Enugu State, in collaboration with the Enugu State Ministry of Trade and Commerce and the Enugu SME Centre; Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN); Nigeria Association of Small & Medium Enterprises (NASME) and Enugu Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (ECCIMA).
The webinar which will take place across the country on a state-by-state basis, is part of concerted efforts to assist entrepreneurs across all sectors of the Nigerian economy develop requisite capacity to unlock their full potentials and take their businesses to the next level of growth.
Mrs. Onyeali-Ikpe who during her remarks on Wednesday provided insights into the bank’s unique approach to managing MSMEs, pointed out that SMEs which are businesses with less than N100m annual turnover contribute about 48 percent of national GDP, account for 96 percent of businesses and 84 percent of employment in Nigeria.
She noted that despite the significant contribution of SMEs to the Nigerian economy, challenges still persist that hinder the growth and development of the sector. Chief among these are funding, lack of infrastructure, poor management, low entrepreneurial skills, improper planning, poor digital skills, etc. The Fidelity CEO however noted that the webinar seeks to proffer appropriate solutions to these challenges in a very practicable manner.
“We have a dedicated SME Desk with innovative products and services to assist your business. Fidelity Bank, in partnership with various private and public institutions provides funding, business advisory services for all our customers. This webinar is an excellent opportunity to network, share information and deepen the SME sector in Enugu State”, she explained.
Themed “Funding and Financial Management”, the Enugu Edition had in attendance special guests including Mrs. Monica Ugwuanyi, First Lady, Enugu State, Sir Robert O. Anwatu, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Roban Stores, and Mr. Chiedozie Atuegwu, Director, Michelle Laboratories Limited, amongst others.
In her remarks, Mrs. Ugwuanyi applauded the bank for its unrelenting support for MSMEs in Enugu State, stating that the Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi-led administration remained at the forefront of SME development in Nigeria as exemplified by its continuous investments in infrastructure deployment and provision of labor policy frameworks to further encourage investments.
Speaking in the same vein, President, Association of Bureau De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON) (ABCON) Dr. Aminu Gwadabe commended the bank for its sustained efforts at promoting MSMEs nationwide. Gwadabe noted that the bank had been very supportive to its 5,000 licensed members nationwide. “The Bureau De Change (BDC) does about N1.4trillion per annum. Fidelity Bank controls 60 percent of these transactions in the country”, he explained.
Whilst shedding light on the dynamics of the Bureau De Change sector, Dr, Gwadabe revealed that exchange rate stability was determined by the country’s SME structure. Given the immense potentials inherent in the nation’s MSME space, he said that the fledgling sector, if properly positioned, could assist the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) achieve its mandate on exchange rate stability.
Click here to watch the full webinar.
Due to recent events, is Remitano P2P the remedy for Nigerians to buy Bitcoin in Nigeria?
Remitano P2P crypto exchange is an escrowed marketplace where crypto buyers meet crypto sellers.
It’s no longer news that the Central Bank of Nigeria popularly called CBN has placed a ban on cryptocurrency in Nigeria. With this ban in place, it is no more possible for Nigerians to buy Bitcoin from their usual exchanges with their debit cards or directly from their Nigerian bank accounts. What’s worse is that a lot of crypto traders now have their assets stuck in their exchanges as they can no longer withdraw directly to their Naira account. This sudden move by the CBN put the Nigerian crypto community in a state of frustration.
In compliance with the crypto ban, Nigerian commercial banks have begun to freeze the bank accounts of people that are associated with crypto. This ban on crypto placed by the Central Bank of Nigeria has indeed affected the people’s ability to buy bitcoin in Nigeria. A lot of people have now resorted to buying Bitcoin the old fashion way, offline purchase. Unfortunately, many of these people have been scammed of their hard-earned money simply because they had to deal with some unscrupulous few who set out to defraud those who want to buy Bitcoin. It’s like being stuck between the devil and the red sea!
So the question on every Nigerian crypto lover’s mind is – “How do I buy bitcoin safely without getting my bank account blocked or getting scammed?” Well, the answer to your question is – “Remitano P2P exchange!”
What is Remitano P2P Crypto Exchange?
Simply put, Remitano P2P crypto exchange is an escrowed marketplace where crypto buyers meet crypto sellers. With Remitano P2P, you can sell and buy Bitcoin in Nigeria from anyone without fear of being scammed or fear of your bank account being frozen. This is because Remitano acts as an escrow between the seller and buyer to ensure a smooth transaction process.
Remitano P2P is currently the leading P2P platform in Nigeria, South Africa, and several other countries. After being in existence for quite a number of years, Remitano has continuously evolved over the years to provide the perfect marketplace for both crypto buyers and sellers thereby creating a high level of trust in the crypto community.
Remitano is so confident in their ability to deliver that they guarantee all transactions are completed within 15 minutes of initiation. In the event that a transaction is not completed, compensation of 50% of the transaction fee will be refunded to the user.
In addition to this awesome service, Remitano offers the simplest and easy-to-use user interface that anyone with or without computer knowledge can interact with. Remitano also has a responsive and friendly customer service available 24/7 to provide help to buyers and sellers whenever needed.
It takes only a few steps to buy Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies on Remitano. All you need to do is to choose a buyer you would like to buy Bitcoin from, send the Naira equivalent to the seller’s bank account. Once receipt of payment is confirmed, Remitano releases the Bitcoin into your Bitcoin Wallet.
Remitano is a product of Babylons Solutions Limited based in Seychelles. Remitano’s purpose is to offer a robust, quality trading experience to all users as a fast-moving marketplace. With necessary safety standards in place, buyers and sellers can come together, store, trade, and withdraw assets, thus avoiding issues common to other crypto exchanges.
Launched in 2014, Remitano is a global cryptocurrency exchange serving international markets, such as Malaysia, China, Nigeria, Vietnam, Australia, Cambodia, and Indonesia.
Reach out to Remitano via:
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