Ndovu – The online partner for stock investment that’s been long overdue
Most Kenyans do not know how to go about investments, particularly investments in the stock markets. The stock market so far has been presented as a market for the elite with financial degrees or the super-wealthy who have billions to spare. That’s however about to change thanks to Ndovu, an online investment platform that provides easy access to financial markets.
Operating strictly online, Ndovu bridges the gap between the securities/other elitist investment options and the layman who has no idea how investing works. Ndovu does this by presenting an easy-to-understand step-by-step investment procedure through a simple to use mobile app or through the standard web portal. The steps involve having the user create a profile that fits his financial status, investment personality, and the type of investment the user intend to achieve within a given time frame. After the user has provided the required information, Ndovu uses that information to create a customized investment portfolio for the user. The user can then decide to let Ndovu manage the portfolio as he goes around doing his other businesses, or he can decide to be hands-on in the management of his investment portfolio. Ndovu refers to these two options as goal-based investment and general investment respectively.
Letting Ndovu manage your portfolio might be the good call to make. This is because the team behind Ndovu are people who have a track record in managing investments from across the globe, and have the necessary expertise and experience to know exactly the type of investment options that perfectly match a particular investment personality. For example, Ms. Radhika Bhachu who is the CEO of Ndovu is an investment specialist with 11 years of experience advising global top 500 companies. She previously worked in the UK for BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager. The CCO of Ndovu is Mr. Ro Nyangeri who is the former Head of Strategy at the Nairobi Securities Exchange, whereas Mr. Gianpaolo De Biase who is the company’s CTO is a serial entrepreneur who has built and scaled digital products in different markets around the globe.
Ndovu was launched at the beginning of last month with a promise to be simple (no financial jargon), provide capabilities for investors to watch the performances of their investments, and be able to buy and sell funds with jus a few taps on their phones (or web browsers). ““Our idea was born out of our passion to improve financial lives across Africa. Our vision is to provide every African, regardless of income level or financial knowledge, with the right tools to grow their wealth. We believe in educating our people on how to make their money work for them will bring us one step closer to reducing poverty on the continent,” said Ms. Radhika Bhachu during the launch.
Ndovu is a platform that can be trusted, not just because they have been funded by venture capitalists such as the 4DX Ventures, Plug and Play Tech Center, Future Africa, and Oui Capital, but also because they are under the strict regulation of Capital Markets Authority. With the trust assured, Ndovu aims at reaching out to the wider Kenyan market who have little to no investment literacy so that they too can reap the benefits of formal investment guided by investment experts. This was exemplified by Mr. Ro during the launch of Ndovu when he said mentioned that investing $100 per month for 10 years in a bank account paying 2% per annum would earn the investor $13,200, whereas investing the same amount for the same duration using Ndovu into the S&P 500 fund will earn the investor $23,500.
“At Ndovu, we are playing a key role in financial inclusion by opening up the previously-gated financial markets to all. We are also demystifying investments by breaking down financial jargon with an easy-to-use platform” said De Biase.
Ndovu has won several awards, including a development grant from Zilliqa, the blockchain project that pioneered sharding, a technology that splits platform infrastructure into several interconnected networks to support more transactions. Ndovu also won first-place in the She Loves Tech competition (2021), and led the pack at Princeton in Africa’s New Venture Competition (2020). This is in addition to
being selected for the highly-competitive Google for Startups Accelerator in 2021, the same year it received recognition from the Co-Creation Hub for the work that it is doing to empower women.