Bankly gets $2m seed funding to financially include 2m Nigerians

In the next three years, over 2 million Nigerians are likely to gain access to financial services thanks to a $2 million seed funding raised by Bankly on Wednesday.

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Founded in 2018 by Tomilola Adejana and Fredrick Adams, Bankly is looking to put a bank in the pocket of Nigeria’s 36m unbanked adults. Bankly’s primary strategy is to deploy money agents across the country. Haven started with about 2000 agents, Blankly plans to expand to a 15,000 agent network with its new funding.

The latest seed fundraising led by Vault and Flutterwave with participation from Plug and Play Ventures, Rising Tide Africa and Chrysalis Capital.

“We’re thrilled to have closed this milestone fundraise and to have such seasoned fintech investors who understand the market join us on this journey to bank Nigeria’s unbanked. Our goal has always been to reach the last mile using a fast-moving consumer strategy.

Now we have built the agent network and are poised to serve customers directly via offline and online channels. Partnerships, collaboration, and a deep understanding of the needs of the unbanked will be vital to our success,” said Tomilola Adejana, CEO and Co-founder of Bankly.

Bankly plans to increase its 35,000 customer base in cash dependent communities.

To achieve this, the company plans to grow the number of its physical “cash in” points by expanding its 15,000 person agent network and plugging its API into partner networks. Bankly will also develop direct-to-consumer (DTC) products for its customer base that will be available through its app and USSD channels.

Over the next three years, Bankly aims to grow its customer base to 2 million unbanked Nigerians, supporting the aims of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s National Financial Inclusion Strategy.

“Given our over 20 years experience in Nigeria’s fintech industry and previous exits, we strongly believe that Bankly understands the nuanced needs of this market – not to mention the team, strategy, and technology — to succeed in bringing affordable financial services to the unbanked.

We are delighted to participate in this financing round as Bankly moves into its next growth stage,” said Idris Alubankudi Saliu, Partner, Vault.

Bankly allows ajo participants to save their money using both online and offline methods.

Customers can deposit and withdraw cash with a Bankly agent or make payments using its app or USSD function.


gender sensitive

Government targeting gender-sensitive public financial management processes

The federal government has disclosed that it is entrenching public financial management processes that would be more gender-sensitive and ensures the availability of credible disaggregated data.

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The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, in her goodwill message yesterday during the commemoration of the “2021 International Women’s Day National Policy Dialogue,” noted that through the implementation of Finance Acts 2019 and 2020, the federal government is providing tax relief and other forms of support to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), many of which are owned by women.

Ahmed said: “We are also working to ensure that our public financial management processes are more gender-sensitive, and that credible disaggregated data is available. Such a focus will yield sustainable and scalable change.

“We are also scaling up existing and developing new interventions at the intersection of gender equality and fiscal policy/public financial management. These include gender- responsive budgeting, and assessments of the gender responsiveness of key fiscal interventions (including fiscal stimulus packages) with specific commitments aimed at improving the safety, livelihoods, and economic status of women and girls.

“This is an area in which we at the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning are focusing more deliberately and will be prioritising, in partnership with the Ministry of Women Affairs and other critical stakeholders.”

She pointed out that women and girls have continued to bear the disproportionate burden of the COVID-19 pandemic on the frontlines, in their homes and across various sectors and stated that they must be given the opportunities and tools with which to be socially, financially, and economically empowered.

The minister advocated that every woman and girl should be guaranteed safety in their respective homes, schools, communities, and places of work while calling for an end to gender-based violence and the so-called ‘shadow pandemic’ once and for all.

The minister observed that gender equality and women’s economic empowerment remained critical to ensuring inclusive and sustainable development.

“If we fail to act now, the goals espoused in the 1995 Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the African Union’s Agenda 2063 will remain out of reach,” she said.

She described this year’s theme “Women in Leadership: Achieving an Equal Future in a COVID-19 World” as a resounding call to celebrate the unfailing resilience and inspiring leadership of women and girls around the world.

She also applauded the efforts of the Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs. Pauline Tallen, adding that Tallen has been a tireless advocate for gender equality, and had taken a bold stand in the campaign to end violence against women and girls.

Ahmed noted that internationally, the country is proud to have the United Nations (UN) Deputy Secretary-General, Mrs. Amina Mohammed, and the recently appointed World Trade Organisation’s (WTO) Director-General, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, among its gender advocates and champions of change.