Ghanaian startup InvestXD is bidding to help people make easier investments by educating them on the process and making it more efficient.
Formed last year by Richard Yao Baku, Emmanuel Akin-Awokoya and Andrew Nduati Njage after they met during the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) programme in Accra, Ghana, InvestXD is an online platform that makes it easy for young professionals to learn about investment products such as Mutual Funds, Fixed Deposits and Treasury Bills.
The startup has developed a learning platform offering bite-sized information that helps users to learn about investing at their own pace, share their learnings and apply their experience. It also has an easy to use Know Your Customer (KYC) form that assists users in investing in banks across Africa.
“Our product promotes financial inclusion and helps young professionals achieve their goals such as saving for trips, saving capital for business, or paying for a postgraduate degree. The need to help young professionals achieve their financial goals is what drives us because we are just like them,” Baku told Disrupt Africa.
InvestXD is a direct result of the previous experiences of the co-founders when it came to investing.
“In our respective lives before our time at MEST Africa, information about the best available investment products was difficult to find because it was widely dispersed. We also found it tedious filling the same investment form every time we wanted to invest in a different investment scheme,” said Baku.
“This, coupled with the need to stay in a queue for hours to deposit money in an investment account, proved to be a major problem. The investment process is long and tedious with no efficient way of making payments.”
The InvestXD team took to the streets to validate their premise, calling, surveying and emailing potential users.
“After arriving at a user persona and building an MVP to solve the problem, we saw interest from both young professionals and financial institutions. So we decided to build a for-profit social impact company that is scalable to any country and promotes financial inclusion,” Baku said.
The result was InvestXD, which went live in October of last year. Since then its development has been informed by consumer data.
“This is helping shape and refine our value offerings to help the young professionals achieve their financial goals. Our diverse backgrounds from Enactus, MTN, Enterprise Group and MEST have been crucial to forming the business, taking into account the lifestyle, saving and spending habits of young professionals,” Baku said.
Essentially, the startup has set itself up as a financial intermediary between the financial institutions and investors.
“Simply said, InvestXD drives transactions to financial institutions from young professionals who want to save and invest from the comfort of their homes or office,” said Baku.
The startup raised a pre-seed round from the Meltwater Foundation, and is currently being incubated at the MEST Incubator in Accra. Its customer base has been growing by 28 per cent month-on-month, mainly due to word of mouth and social media marketing.
“We have also had a great response from financial institutions interested in having their products on our platforms,” said Baku.
“Our biggest uptake is the recurring investment by our customers through our platform and the number of diaspora Africans from Mauritius, Turkey, Oman, the United States (US) and the United Kingdom (UK) investing back home through our platform.”
InvestXD, which charges a commission on all transactions completed through its platform, is currently focused on the Ghanaian market, but has bigger plans.
“Leveraging the MEST network across Africa, we are looking to other African markets, with Kenya and Nigeria as our next markets of entry,” Baku said.