Investing in stocks has always been touch-and-go for Nigerians, both at home and in diaspora. A typical tale of the-more-you-look, the-less-you-see, many Nigerians have experiences – both real and imagined – of how they have lost some money in the stock market.
Amidst all of these, startups offering an opportunity to invest in foreign or local stocks have the problem of trust to deal with, before they can successfully break into the market.
Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Chaka, Tosin Osibodu, said this was a major challenge for Chaka when it launched in 2019.
Tosin was a guest on Nairametrics’ Business Half Hour radio programme where he explained that with Chaka, investing in foreign stocks have become a more knowledgeable and transparent process that enables investors to make informed choices.
Chaka, as Tosin describes it, is a gateway that allows Nigerians to easily invest in local and foreign stocks, and also allows those in diaspora to invest in local stocks.
According to Nairametrics’ investment analyst, Olumide Adesina, Chaka “makes it easier for many Nigerians to access world brands like Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Twitter, Facebook, Amazon, General Electric, and provides top-class access to stocks listed.”
With Chaka, global stocks such as Apple, Alibaba, Google, Manchester United, the S&P 500 index and several others listed on NASDAQ, the New York Stock Exchange, and the Nigerian Stock Exchange, and top brands from over 40 countries are only a tap away for investors.
Averting the sour experiences
Sour experiences in investing are usually a result of poor knowledge of the market, and little or no access to market insights. As Tosin explained:
“The market is not bad everywhere at the same time. The secret is knowing the right market to invest at any time, and having the right information.”
Information about market fundamentals, insights and knowledge of the right portfolio at any time will guide an investor towards taking the right buy-hold-or sell decisions, and the Chaka weekly webinars offer this.
Apart from the regular insights, investors can also rest easy knowing that they have the backing of financial regulators such as SEC, NSE, CSCS in Nigeria and SEC, FINRA, SIPC, IRS in the U.S. This is no mean feat for investment start-ups and Tosin admitted that getting the approval of these regulators formed a large part of the initial challenges.
Building automated trading systems to create wealth
During the years spent schooling as a systems engineer in the US, Tosin observed the ease of investing in the stock market, a direct contrast to what was obtainable in Nigeria. Though a systems engineer by training, he was passionate about solving the problem, and reducing access barriers to local and global markets.
Back in Nigeria, he teamed up with his life-long friend and cousin, Bolanle Osibodu to set up Chaka.ng. With a core financial expert and a systems engineer, the company was all set to get rolling.
The goal was simply to reduce barriers to trading stocks across borders, and help Nigerians cash into the emerging mine that was the stock market.
With the Chaka solution, investors can register, get verified, buy and sell stocks the same day. The no-minimum investment rule also makes it open to beginner investors, allowing them to buy as much as they can afford.
For instance, even though the share unit of a company is worth $500, an investor may invest $100 and free up funds to build a well-rounded portfolio. According to Tosin, “if you are above 18 years and interested in investing, we don’t believe that you should be restricted by funds”.
It also has other unique features like the Naira or Dollar conversion on a per-asset-basis so that you can see how a Naira investment would perform in dollar assets or vice-versa. Its low transaction charges and wire transfer fees makes it even more affordable for Nigerian investors, especially since there are no hidden charges.
There are other companies who serve as digital brokers to Nigerian investors. But rather than see them as competitors, Tosin and his colleagues regard these startups as potential collaborators.
“Anyone that does what we do and shares same vision is a potential collaborator,” Tosin said.
One of the ways of collaborating is by providing execution services, white-label services and market automation technologies for corporate and institutional clients, so that these companies integrate Chaka into their operations to provide solutions for clients such as KYC verification, and user-onboarding.
Chaka partners with Citi investment capital in Nigeria and a global broker in the US, through which its offers are regulated by the relevant bodies. The aim of all collaborations is not just for profit but to improve client trust, increase foreign direct investment, and improve the investment income of Nigerians.
“Our focus is to create an amazing customer experience, because the more you can service customers in the way they want to be serviced, the better it is in the long term. This is seen in our lower commission rates, seamless onboarding process, best prices. We are focused on giving the buyer the most transparent offer,” he explained.
With a team of technologists and financial professionals working around the clock, Chaka remains on course to continually improve investment offers, and provide better decision-making tools to customers.
BMGA is more than a training platform for fresh graduates | Gbemisola A Abudu, Founder BMGA | BHH
Eden Life set out to automate domestic chores for busy people – CEO
Eden Life connects people with professional home managers, using its app that helps them outsource the tasks to professionals.
Nothing dampens the desire to work like that nagging feeling that you have left some house chores unattended, or you have to go fix your next meal. But Eden life exists to fix this issue.
According to Nadayar Enegesi, CEO and founder of Eden Life, Eden was set up solely to improve the quality of life of the working middle-class person, who is so busy and yet needs the domestic chores to run on auto-pilot.
Speaking at the weekly Nairametrics Business Half Hour, Nadayar said when he came to Lagos in 2014 to co-found Andela, he first noticed that very few things worked, as they should and things were quite difficult for the working class adults, irrespective of how rich they were.
Often times, people had to resort to the use of helps in order to function properly, but because most of the helps have not been trained to handle the chores without supervision, you end up spending more time trying to get them to do it right, than you would have doing it yourself. At the end of the day, the money has been spent without getting corresponding value.
In a bid to create a better life and community where things ran smoothly, Nadayar teamed with a couple of friends, Prosper Otemuyiwa and Sim Momoh, to do an urban development research to see how things could be done differently to make people’s lives better.
“We were first thinking along the lines of Urban development Centres where people could migrate to and basically change their lives, but that was going to be capital intensive and we ran into money challenges before even getting started. So we decided to approach the problem differently and instead look at how to make people achieve better quality of life,” Nadayar explained.
Just like the Garden of Eden, Eden life is out to ensure that things run as they should, and you get to live a better quality of life.
“My long term vision is to build Nigeria and Africa into a place that people want to live in as opposed to a place that they want to leave from,” Nadayar says.
With Edenlife, customers get to select services they want and how they want it, and then it runs on autopilot henceforth. There would be no need to place an order for a meal everyday, or call the cleaner every morning to put the house in order. The user will also be spared the troubles of having to micromanage a house help to do things when they should be done, as the Eden life Concierge team does all of these, ensuring that the service delivery comes when and how it should.
It hardly makes sense that you leave your house in the morning by 5am to deal with all the traffic madness that Lagos has to offer, come back in the evening and your home is a mess. With reliable, timely, and quality services assured, workers can now go about the business of making more money and leaving the little details that take up all their time.
Executing service to precision
Launched in April 2019, Eden Life connects people with professional home managers, using its app that helps them outsource the tasks to professionals known as the Gardeners. These ‘gardeners’ are trained home managers and handle all the hassles to ensure that the services are delivered when and how they should.
An average monthly subscription of N36,000 could avail users a variety of domestic services, ranging from meals to laundry and cleaning, and it goes all the way upward depending on just how much more the user wants.
The app also allows users to customize their subscription with the specific needs that they have. Once a user subscribes, the app attaches them to a ‘gardener’, who they can give instructions to from within the app.
On the average, artisans and skilled labourers are associated with some sort of disappointing service, and this is the reason Edenlife chose not to work with artisans.
“Trust is at the core of what we do and we cannot afford to breach that,” he explained.
Eden Life instead works with a collection of small businesses that have been checked and verified for their services. These businesses also have to have some sort of insurance services, because no one ever plans to have things go wrong until they actually do.
“Insurance is necessary because of the mistakes that occasionally come up with service delivery.”
The company recently secured a funding round from Samurai Incubate Africa and the US-based Village Global to help expand its operations, after taking part in an accelerator program conducted by the firm.
With its cheap subscriptions, the model is not yet built for profitability, but according to Nadayar, the plan is to build a sustainable model within the next couple of years before seeking more funding and expanding to other busy cities in Africa like Abuja, Accra, etc.
With more people spending money on domestic helps and home cleaning services, Eden life has a huge market to go after and is not bothered about the competition. One of its core values considered during recruitments is customer obsession and this stands at the core of all services to clients.
“We will continue to raise the bar on service delivery and customer satisfaction and our hope is that more service providers cross the bar because ultimately, the goal is to give busy people a better quality of life, while they pursue career goals,” Nadayar said.
Now you can avoid house chores by automating them on Eden | Nadayar Enegesi CEO at Eden