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Aruwa invests in CrowdForce

Staff writer
Jan. 10, 2022, 1:40 p.m.
108

Word count: 424

Aruwa Capital Management, an early-stage growth equity and gender lens fund, has invested in CrowdForce, a financial services distribution platform facilitating delivery of banking services to last-mile customers in rural areas, serving the underserved and unbanked population in Nigeria.

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Aruwa Capital Management, an early-stage growth equity and gender lens fund, has invested in CrowdForce, a financial services distribution platform facilitating delivery of banking services to last-mile customers in rural areas, serving the underserved and unbanked population in Nigeria.

Adesuwa Okunbo Rhodes, Founder & Managing Partner of Aruwa Capital, said: “We are excited to have led this investment in Crowd Force. We see significant value in the Company's product as it is solving a real problem by providing access to critical financial services in rural areas that have been overlooked by traditional financial institutions historically.”

Founded in 2015, the Company's founders initially sought to solve the problem that corporates faced of limited access to accurate market data for low income and underbanked communities through their data analytics platform called MobileForms.

However, in the process of collecting last-mile data, the Company realised the lack of financial services in rural and hard-to-reach areas.

In Africa, more than 529 million adults are financially excluded and almost 10% of these adults reside in Nigeria, where 95% of retail transactions are still conducted in cash.

Crowdforce launched PayForce to directly solve this problem by providing a technology platform that improves access to cash through simple cash-centered products.

Tomi Ayorinde, CEO & Co-Founder of CrowdForce, said: “Our relationship with the Aruwa team has been a mutually beneficial one and we are pleased to have them lead this investment round. This funding will drive us closer to our vision of becoming the largest financial services distribution network in Africa and having a partner such as Aruwa, that is on ground and has local expertise will further catalyse this process. We are also very excited to leverage their insights and network in increasing our gender impact as a Company.”

Rhodes added: “The Company is actively deepening financial inclusion through its products and services, and has unique competitive advantages through its proprietary technology and extensive agent distribution network across the country.”

“In line with Aruwa's gender lens investing strategy and from meetings held with agents and aggregators in the field, we observed a significant representation of women in CrowdForce's agent network, with over 35% of the Company's agents are women, which is in line with our mandate to partner with companies who are providing economic empowerment to women. Additionally, c.35% of the Company's total employees are females with significant presence in the leadership team, indicating a consistent representation of women in the Company's value chain. We are excited to continue to support the Company in their ambition to achieve real financial inclusion across Africa.”

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