Months of behind-the-scenes negotiations have culminated in a groundbreaking acquisition that promises to reshape the fintech landscape in Nigeria.
Risevest, the innovative fintech startup, has officially acquired digital trading pioneer Chaka in a deal that founders Tosin Osinbodu and Eke Urum describe as both strategic and exciting.
A Transformative Partnership
Speaking on the acquisition, Tosin Osinbodu, the founder of Chaka, and Eke Urum, the visionary mind behind Risevest, confirmed the successful conclusion of the acquisition on a Tuesday morning.
Osinbodu expressed his enthusiasm for the future, saying, “We’re excited, especially from the perspective of people; high level and strategically, this deal makes sense.”
He further added, “I’m excited about how Chaka’s product will evolve and how we’re going to learn from the Risevest team.”
While financial details of the transaction remain confidential, both companies have reassured that Chaka and Risevest will continue to operate as separate entities.
According to Eke, “Chaka’s ownership and cap table will get updated, but everything else remains; the team stays the same.”
Both companies plan to collaborate closely to enhance their respective product roadmaps, reflecting a commitment to growth and innovation.
A Perfect Match
Insiders suggest that this acquisition was a natural fit due to the complementary licenses held by both Chaka and Risevest. Although neither founder offered comment on this particular aspect, it provides a glimpse into the strategic rationale behind the merger.
Chaka, founded in 2019, positions itself as an “investment passport” for users. Through the Chaka app, users can invest in shares of publicly traded companies in Nigeria and the United States with investments as low as $2. Also, fractional shares are available, making investing more accessible than ever.
Chaka’s journey has been marked by challenges, including a temporary setback in December 2020 when the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) suspended its operations in Nigeria. The SEC’s ban stemmed from a perceived lack of licensing. However, through dialogue with regulators, Chaka became the first trading startup to secure a digital sub-broker license in March 2021.
The Road to Merger
Eke Urum, the founder of Risevest, shared with TechCabal the fascinating story of how this groundbreaking merger came to fruition. It all began with a mutual investor who floated the idea earlier in the year. Informal discussions commenced in March 2023, with both founders quickly finding common ground and even joking about their hypothetical collaboration as co-founders in an alternate reality.
Eke stated, “The first conversation we had about this was: this is where Chaka is trying to go; I wonder if this could happen. Investors on both sides have also always been aware. To my knowledge, all investors bought in when we spoke to them about this deal.”
Tosin Osinbodu concluded, “Knowing how much we have put in, the investors understand that we’re committed to it. I think the investors are really glad about this outcome and what the future holds.”
A New Era in Nigerian Fintech
The Risevest-Chaka merger not only marks a significant moment in the history of Nigerian fintech but also signals a commitment to growth, innovation, and expanding access to investment opportunities for Nigerians.
With their shared vision and diverse strengths, these two fintech powerhouses are set to navigate the evolving financial landscape together, potentially setting new industry standards and inspiring collaboration across the Nigerian tech ecosystem.
Fintech Company, Grey, Unveils New Look to Support its Global Expansion Strategy
Grey, a leading cross-border fintech company, has embarked on a significant global brand rebranding initiative, revealing a fresh logo and website design.
This strategic move aligns with the company’s dynamic plans to expand its footprint in the global market.
The company’s transformation was unveiled on its social media platforms on Monday, November 27, 2023. Grey aims to leverage this fresh identity to reach a broader audience and solidify its international presence. The updated brand assets visually represent Grey’s commitment to innovation, excellence, and global connectivity.
The rebranding initiative follows closely on the heels of Grey celebrating a milestone achievement of surpassing 500,000 users. The company’s rapid growth and expanding user base have spurred this bold step towards rebranding, symbolizing success and underlining its dedication to remaining at the forefront of global fintech innovation. Furthermore, the previous logo was not usable in some foreign markets due to trademark conflicts with another company.
Idee Obong, The CEO and founder of Grey, shared insights into the rationale behind the rebranding, stating, “As we chart our course toward serving a global audience, we recognized the need for trademarks and related processes. We identified similarities with existing marks during this evaluation, prompting a deliberate rebrand. The new logo and website signify our forward trajectory, emphasizing global connectivity and our commitment to creating a more interconnected world. Our focus remains on being people-centric and cultivating a lasting community.”
Grey’s brand evolution is occurring at a crucial juncture for the fintech industry, which is positioned for significant opportunities despite recent economic uncertainties. The fintech sector has faced challenges in the past year; notwithstanding, Grey has rapidly scaled, adeptly responding to the heightened demand for its services.
The company has also established key partnerships across both B2B and B2C sectors across Africa over the past months, solidifying its reputation as a trusted and reliable cross-border payments company.
Femi Aghedo, Co-founder of Grey, emphasized the strategic timing of the brand evolution, stating, “The timing simply felt right to evolve our brand. Our growth and evolution as a business needed to be reflected tangibly. We are dedicated to ongoing innovation, adapting our services to meet the dynamic needs of our customers. Our core mission is to provide seamless and secure cross-border payment solutions, empowering businesses and individuals in the global economy. We eagerly anticipate the future of fintech and the opportunities it presents for us to impact the industry positively.”
Furthermore, customers can expect a more innovative and interconnected user experience when engaging on their platforms. As Grey ventures into this exciting new chapter, the team remains committed to providing cutting-edge and secure cross-border payment solutions, fostering global connectivity, and contributing to the evolving landscape of the fintech industry.
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Kenyan Court Clears Flutterwave of Money Laundering and Fraud Allegations
African fintech firm Flutterwave can breathe a sigh of relief as the high court in Kenya has granted the country’s Asset Recovery Agency (ARA) permission to withdraw its second and only remaining case against the payments company.
The withdrawal of the case by the ARA follows further investigations, which established that Flutterwave was not involved in criminal activities, including money laundering and fraud.
The latest development concludes a legal saga that began when the ARA initially froze $52.5 million in Flutterwave’s accounts and sought to establish that these funds were proceeds of crime. The case was closed in March, with the release of the $52.5 million, after the ARA withdrew its initial case.
This legal victory is significant for Flutterwave, which has been in the process of acquiring a payments service provider and remittances license from the Central Bank of Kenya. Last year, the Central Bank of Kenya had flagged Flutterwave for operating without the required license.
The judge’s ruling also highlighted the negligence and recklessness of the ARA in commencing legal proceedings without completing its investigations, leading to potential civil or tortious liabilities falling solely on the agency’s director and the investigator rather than being imposed on the Kenyan government or public funds.
This development comes as Flutterwave intensifies its efforts to expand its fintech services in Kenya and other markets, offering payment solutions for businesses and individuals across Africa.
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