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Nigerian micro-investment portal Trove to use Ventures Platform investment to scale operations

Featured image: Trove CEO Tomi Solanke (Supplied)

Nigerian micro-investment platform Trove plans to use its recent investment from Ventures Platform to scale its operations and build its team, CEO Tomi Solanke has revealed.

It follows an announcement last Thursday (2 May) by Ventures Platform, a Lagos-based early-stage focused fund, that it had invested an undisclosed amount in the fintech startup.

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Trove’s app enables users to invest in bonds and stocks in Nigeria and in the US.

Development on Trove’s platform began last year

The startup began developing its fintech app last year and was founded by Solanke (pictured above) together with Opeyemi Olanipekun, Osita Akagu and Desayo Aisegiri.

Solanke told Ventureburn in an email today (9 May) that the deal was concluded last month. He declined to disclose how much was invested in the startup.

“Most of this would be used to scale our operations, execute some of the crazy ideas we have on how to get more Africans to invest and build out a robust team of amazingly talented people,” he explained.

‘Transactions encouraging’

He also declined to disclose details on the volume of investments made through the platform or how many users are currently using Trove’s app citing competitive reasons.

However, he was able to reveal that Trove’s transactions so far have been “very encouraging” for an early-stage venture. “We have also been seeing strong growth since we launched the application,” he stated.

He added that the interest in the startup’s offering has been “mind blowing”. “It’s feels like it took off and developed a life of its own,” he said.

Trove generates its revenue primarily off commission on trades. The commissions, Solanke explained, are dependent on the type of security being bought.

‘Disconnect investing in global markets’

Solanke said the startup has its origins in 2017 when he and a friend were looking to acquire Amazon stock. On searching “frantically” for months, he said they found no seamless way of going about it.

Later that year, he said a friend, whose mother was in the US, approached him looking to purchase a government bond in Nigeria. “But then, I had no answers too,” he said.

In his search for a solution, he then discovered that a number of Nigerians were facing similar problems when it came to investing in international financial markets as Africans. “Especially as a Nigerian,” he pointed out.

“We were fuelled by a desire to open up more investment opportunities to everyday Africans and wanted to make investing as seamless a process as possible and totally revolutionise the process from top to bottom,” he said.

Venture Platform head investment and portfolio support Kayode Oyewole said in a post on Medium last Thursday (2 May) that the fund has always been a strong proponent of democratising economic opportunities.

“Trove’s vision of a world of border-less investing is something that resonates with us and the existence of such a product would be really impactful,” Oyewole explained.

He said Ventures Platform had worked with the Trove team in the 12-week ARM Lab Corporate Accelerator.

“We got to witness first hand, their passion, and commitment to democratising access to quality investment opportunities,” added Oyewole.

Featured image: Trove CEO Tomi Solanke (Supplied)

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