The Demo Day event for the third edition of Labs by ARM held on Wednesday, 30th June 2021 at 4 PM (WAT) over Zoom. The event, which had investors, corporates, tech leaders, members of the press, and senior executives of the ARM Group, was an avenue for startups in this year’s cohort to showcase their progress and pitch to secure investments and partnerships.
Labs by ARM is a 12-week Accelerator programme by Asset & Resource Management Holding Company Limited (ARM) in partnership with Ventures Platform designed to fund and support compelling fintech startups solving critical problems in the financial services industry. The program aims to find and support startups unlocking industry verticals and new markets, thereby changing how users access and consume financial services.
The third edition of the programme commenced in March 2021, with the objective of helping 5 early and growth-stage startups commercialise and distribute their innovations.
The teams participated in deep-dive sessions and were supported to create unique strategies for solving peculiar challenges. In addition, programme mentors and advisors, who are thought leaders in their various fields, provided support in business growth, product-market fit, distribution and software engineering. These sessions helped the startups navigate specific challenges and, more importantly, become better positioned for growth.
Within the four months, the startups recorded impressive growth. A startup providing affordable home financing options for Africans doubled its users and raised over $300k in funding; one of the startups solving for more convenient cross-border payments has processed $20,000 in transactions within a month of operation. One startup, whose solution is making it easier for online shoppers to log in and checkout on digital platforms, has recorded 600 merchants and 1200 customers since its launch in the program.
The five startups who pitched at the Demo Day event are:
Founded by Kelechi Nwokocha, Abdulrahman Atta and Samuel Haruna, Bongalow helps Africans everywhere shop for affordable home financing solutions from the comfort of their homes. The marketplace gives lenders access to customers outside and within Africa, a digitally-enabled mortgage solution.
Breeze is a payment system that provides Africans with forex liquidity needed to trade and transact globally. Founded by Chimenem Nnwoka, the team is building this solution to connect Africans to the global financial system.
Founded by Ndifreke Ikokpu and Nnamdi Uba, House Africa is a digital platform that helps financial institutions and individuals validate properties before investment or purchase and enables prospects to interact with project sitemaps virtually.
Founded by Eze Samuel, the team is building the fastest one-click login and checkout for digital commerce. From e-commerce stores to social media vendors, Pass is working to ensure customers experience top-speed, seamless checkout.
Plumter is providing instant, multicurrency accounts for easy local and diaspora banking. With a mission driven by cutting-edge technology, the team led by Yinka Elujoba is committed to enabling the next generation of Africans to participate equally in the global economy.
Speaking on the program, Mohamed Felata, Director of Programs at Ventures Platform Foundation, said, “The Labs by ARM programme is the leading fintech accelerator in Nigeria. It works because of the special collaboration between ARM and ARM Ventures Platform. ARM not just funds the programme but gives the startups access to the market. In this cohort, we have seen startups introduce and develop leading solutions that range from cross-border payments to mortgage financing. Through digitalization and fundamentally rethinking the industry’s current approach, we’re not surprised to witness Africa’s fintech sector flourishing right before us.”
Jumoke Ogundare CEO, ARM, congratulated all participants for their advancement in the programme, and wished them the best of luck. She specially thanked Ventures Platform for a successful partnership, and Mr. Tomi Davies of Techno Vision for his continued mentorship of the fintech companies even after the investment stage. The CEO also expressed her gratitude to the Advisory Board of ARM Digital Financial Services for charting the right path for ARM’s digital growth
Established in 1994, ARM is an asset management firm that offers wealth creation opportunities through a unique blend of traditional asset management and alternative investment services. ARM currently manages total assets of approximately N1.4 trillion (as of September 2020)
Ventures Platform is creating inclusive and sustainable wealth in Africa by building African Entrepreneurs and Innovators’ capacity to leverage technology to create sustainable solutions to the most urgent problems on the continent. They are one of the most active early-stage investors on the continent.
Ventures Platform also works with big corporations to drive innovation internally and build lasting relationships with the startup ecosystem to help fuel business growth and achieve innovation goals.