NIGERIA – Awabah, a digital platform providing pension access to Africa’s self-employed, has announced that it has been accepted into the Techstars London accelerator program.
The fintech plans to bank US$120,000 from the program, months after it raised US$200,000 in angel funding from early-stage investors like ODBA and Co Ventures and Correlation Capital.
This new funding helped Awabah to roll out its services in Lagos and Ibadan. The startup has plans to start providing services in 5 more Nigerian cities over the next 6 months.
The startup is dedicated to making micro-pension services available to those in the informal sector and those whos employers are not legally required to deduct and remit pension. It will join nine other startups in the class of 2021 and secure funding from the accelerator as it sets its sights on African expansion.
The Lagos-based company, founded by Tunji Andrews, Tina Ajishebiyawo, and Gboyega Olatunde, is building wealth for Africa’s informal, particularly self-employed population by ensuring that they are able to plan for a dignified life after retirement.
Awabah launched in November of 2020, signed up over 700 clients in its first two months, and has been dedicated to advancing the cause for future financial inclusion and security in Africa ever since.
Awabah already sees itself as the solution to Africa’s wealth redistribution challenge. The company has now partnered with 3 Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) in Nigeria and hopes to increase this to 5 before the end of 2021.
The partnerships will coincide with multi-city rollouts to avail millions more access to the AWABAH advantage.
“Awabah in simple terms is an aggregator of wealth creation tools that are sorely lacking on the continent. We onboard the financial service providers, break their products into bite size chunks, sprinkle a bit of the Awabah magic on it, and give this leverage to our customers,” Tunji Andrews said.
“What’s even greater is that our services come completely at no charge to the customer. Financial services should liberate, not enslave.”
Ajishebiyawo strongly believes that reducing poverty depends on helping those in the informal sector manage and grow their wealth. She insists that the reduction is greatly reliant on access to diverse tools to help leverage income that is either infrequent or so frequent it’s spent on daily consumables.
“It’s not that people in informal employment are too uneducated to control their finances. Quite the opposite. They manage highly complicated budgets on very tight margins,” he said.
“Effective retirement planning and savings help our customers more effectively confront the problems that keep them stuck in an inefficient cycle. Nigerians and indeed Africans have money – but their incomes are unpredictable and insecure; Awabah is fixing this.”