DriveWealth Teams with Nigerian Trading Platform

Wealthtech company DriveWealth is making further inroads into Africa this week with the news that it has partnered with Chaka, a Nigeria-based trading platform.

Chaka will leverage DriveWealth’s API to offer its clients access to U.S. stocks. Citi Investment Capital Limited is a licensed Nigerian stockbroking firm and will facilitate the brokerage transactions for Chaka clients.

“Chaka has developed outstanding technology that we’ve integrated with our customizable APIs to make it easy for clients in Nigeria to participate in the U.S. stock market,” said DriveWealth CEO Robert Cortright. “At a time when many Nigerians are seeking foreign investment opportunities for diversification purposes, this partnership fulfills an important component of Chaka’s global offering with access to the largest and most liquid stock markets in the world.”

Chaka CEO Tosin Osibodu called international investing a “daunting task” for most Nigerians and praised DriveWealth for its “best-in-class” technology, highlighting how the company’s fractional share investment technology makes higher-priced stocks more affordable. “Integration of our technologies has gone very smoothly, and we see this as an important long-term partnership for Chaka,” Osibodu added.

Today’s partnership isn’t DriveWealth’s first connection to Nigeria. In July the company teamed up with Sigma Securities and Trove Technologies to launch a digital U.S. equities trading product for retail investors in Nigeria.

Since it was founded in 2012, the company has set up partnerships with firms on six continents, including Asia, where DriveWealth collaborated with Singapore-based Bambu on the launch of a white-label roboadvisory platform for U.S. wealth managers.

At FinovateAsia 2016, DriveWealth released a new API to enable partners to offer a roboadvisory product suite and a self-directed equity investing platform.

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This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

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This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

DriveWealth Powers Commission-Free Trading for Revolut Cardholders

Alternative banking provider Revolut announced the roll out of commission-free stock trading on its app today. Starting today Revolut Metal customers in the U.K. and Europe can buy and hold shares of 300+ stocks listed on the NYSE and NASDAQ directly from the Revolut app.

The feature is powered by DriveWealth, which is registered as a full-carrying and clearing broker-dealer and will help Revolut navigate the complexities of brokerage. New Jersey-based DriveWealth offers a suite of APIs that allow companies across the globe to help their users invest in the U.S. stock market. The firm provides digital investment products for brokerages to offer clients as well as a brokerage service offering dollar-based, real-time investing.

Overall, Revolut is making stock market investing more inclusive. Trades are free, the annual custodian fee totals 0.01% (when others in the industry charge 0.25% to 1.5%), and there are no account minimums. At launch, all fees are waived for eligible customers during the beta period. The company did not specify when it plans to implement fees but said, “These will come into effect later, and we will communicate with you in advance about when that will be.”

Revolut said it is most proud of integrating the ability to buy partial shares of stock. Fractional share investing, one of DriveWealth’s flagship features, allows users to purchase a small portion of a stock. This democratizes investing by making a stock like Amazon, which trades at almost $1,900 per share, more accessible to investors with lower capital.

Another badge of honor is that trades can be made instantly, meaning users will pay the asking price of a stock when their order hits the market. And, specific to Revolut, users can fund their trading account in multiple currencies and benefit from the interbank exchange rate.

The trading feature not only helps Revolut compete with banks, but also helps the company build its user base for its Metal account. Launched last August, the Metal account offers users 100 free trades per month, along with a host of other features, for $14.99 per month.

In the future, Revolut plans to open trading to users outside of Europe, offer ETFs and other new products, and introduce European stocks. Additionally, the company will open up free trades to Premium and Standard customers, who will be able to make 8 free trades per month and three free trades per month, respectively. This variance is representative of Revolut’s tiered pricing model, which offers free Standard accounts while charging $9.99 per month for a Premium account.

Revolut debuted at FinovateEurope 2015 in London. The company’s CEO and founder Nikolay Storonsky showed off the app’s money transfer capabilities that help users avoid banking fees without actually using a bank.

Adding Revolut as a client is another notch in the belt for DriveWealth, which last month partnered with Sigma Securities and Trove Technologies to offer digital U.S. equities trading in Nigeria. Last August, DriveWealth collaborated with fellow Finovate alum Bambu to launch a white-label roboadvisory platform for U.S. wealth managers. Other DriveWealth clients include MoneyLion, Vested Finance, and INVSTR.

At FinovateAsia 2016, DriveWealth released a new API to enable partners to offer a robo advisory product suite and a self-directed equity investing platform. Robert Cortright is CEO.

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This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

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This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

DriveWealth Democratizes Investing in Nigeria; Meniga Sets Up Shop in Singapore

As Finovate goes increasingly global, so does our coverage of financial technology. Finovate Global: Fintech News from Around the World is our weekly look at fintech innovation in developing economies in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, and Central and Eastern Europe.

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Middle East and Northern Africa

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  • Beirut, Lebanon-based ecommerce management platform Ecomz raises $4 million in Series A funding.

Central and Southern Asia

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  • New partnership between ICICI Bank and IndoStar Capital Finance to bring financing options to help underserved Indian SMEs purchase commercial vehicles.
  • Fidor Solutions inks memorandum of understanding with Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC) to promote fintech innovation in Kazakhstan.

Latin America and the Caribbean

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  • Jamaican wealth manager Proven Wealth to deploy core banking system from ERI.
  • BNAmericas takes a look at the emerging fintech scene in Costa Rica.

Asia-Pacific

  • Japanese payment app Kyash raises $14 million in Series B round led by Goodwater Capital and Mitsubishi UFJ Capital.
  • WeInvest sets up shop in Thailand.
  • Singaporean cross-border payments company Instarem to pursue banking license.
  • Meniga opens new office in Singapore.

Sub-Saharan Africa

  • DriveWealth to help democratize investing in Nigeria.
  • Ventureburn features eight Kenyan fintech startups “to keep an eye on.”
  • CNBC Africa presents a roundtable discussion on the future of fintech and blockchain technology in Nigeria.

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DriveWealth to Help Democratize Investing in Nigeria

Courtesy of a new partnership with Sigma Securities and Trove Technologies, global digital trading technology specialist DriveWealth is launching a new digital U.S. equities trading product for retail investors in Nigeria.

“Making U.S. securities available to investors of any size in countries all around the globe is an essential element of the mission of DriveWealth,” company CEO Robert Cortright said. “We are delighted to work with Sigma Securities and Trove Technologies on this effort to democratize investing in Nigeria by bringing to its retail investors the largest and most liquid, transparent financial market.”

Sigma Securities is a leading Nigerian brokerage firm, founded in 1995 and headquartered in Lagos. Trove Technologies is a financial app developer based in Nigeria that offers investors the ability to purchase stakes in U.S., Chinese, and Nigerian stocks, as well as government bonds and U.S. exchange-traded funds with as little as $2.80 (NGN1,000).

Leaders from both Sigma Securities and Trove Technologies highlighted the way the partnership would help “(break) through the trading barriers” in the words of Sigma Securities CEO Dunama Balami and “eliminate the longstanding bottlenecks” according to Trove Technologies CEO Oluwatomi Solanke. “Our partnership with DriveWealth and Sigma Securities brings the world’s largest stock market to Nigerian investors, regardless of spending power,” Solanke said. Balami referred to the partnership as “a groundbreaking feat” for the Nigerian capital markets.

Founded in 2012 and headquartered in Chatham, New Jersey, DriveWealth demonstrated its platform at FinovateAsia 2016, following its Best of Show winning demo at FinovateEurope earlier that year. The company provides a suite of APIs that enable global investors to participate in the U.S. stock market at a reasonable cost, including the ability to purchase fractional shares. DriveWealth offers both digital investment products to help brokerages around the world provide broader options for their clients, as well as dollar-based, real-time investing via its brokerage service.

Recent headlines for DriveWealth include a collaboration with Investor Cash Management announced in May, in which DriveWealth will power new white-label cash management accounts that are linked to government money market and ultra-short term bond funds. DriveWealth began the year with an announcement that it would expand its partnership with Stake to bring commission-free trading in U.S. stocks and ETFs to investors in South America.

With clients and partners in more than 140 countries around the world, DriveWealth has raised $29.4 million in funding. The company includes Route 66 Ventures, Raptor Group, SBI Group, and Point72 Ventures among its investors.

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This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

DriveWealth and Bambu Join Forces on Roboadvisory Tool

Two wealthtech companies from opposite sides of the globe have built upon their partnership this week. New Jersey-based DriveWealth and Singapore-based Bambu have collaborated on the launch of a white-label, roboadvisory platform for U.S. wealth managers.

While the two have worked together for the past three years on products for overseas markets, this is their first joint offering in the U.S. Robert Cortright, DriveWealth CEO, described the new platform as “a streamlined product for wealth managers seeking to offer a unique, easy-to-use investing platform directly to their retail customers.”

The solution is the result of an integration between DriveWealth’s suite of wealth management APIs, which facilitate everything from customer onboarding to U.S. stock market ordering and reporting; and Bambu’s roboadvisory software, which automates financial planning, saving, and investing for end consumers. More simply, the new offering pairs DriveWealth’s fractional share technology with Bambu’s front-end user interface.

The new platform has three major components:

  • An advisor dashboard that provides an overview of client activities and alerts, and tracks invested capital and cash balances.
  • A CIO dashboard with portfolio-building capabilities that assist in simulating, creating, and rebalancing portfolios.
  • A client application that allows them to adjust investment goals, access investments, and perform investment analyses.

Ned Phillips, CEO of Bambu said, “We are confident that this end-to-end service for financial institutions in the U.S. will be a game changer in simplifying investing.”

Founded in 2012, DriveWealth’s clients include MoneyLion, a lending and wealth management app, and INVSTR, a U.K.-based stock trading application. At FinovateAsia 2016, the company released a new API to enable partners to offer a roboadvisory product suite and a self-directed equity investing platform. Earlier this year, DriveWealth closed a $21 million investment, bringing its total funding to $30 million.

At FinovateAsia 2017, Bambu won Best of Show for its demo of People Like Me, a tool that leverages machine learning to help users define their financial goals. Last month, the company raised $3 million in funding and earlier this year it expanded into London.