In November 2018, ARM partnered with Ventures Platform to launch an innovation programme, Labs by ARM, focused on supporting start-ups leveraging technology, applications, and services to solve specific problems and unlock verticals and markets thereby changing how users access and consume financial services.
As part of the Labs by ARM innovation programme, a 12-week Accelerator programme was launched in February 2019, designed to help six early and growth stage Fintech start-up companies commercialize and grow the distribution of products and services. The teams participated in deep-dive sessions to ascertain the health status of the start-ups and were supported to create unique strategies for solving the challenges. Programme mentors and advisors, who are thought-leaders in their field, provided support around business growth, product-market fit, and distribution; helping the start-ups navigate specific challenges.
Within the 3 months, one of the companies went live with their mobile app, another start-up grew the number of onboard customers from 6000+ to 10,000, further securing a partnership to onboard an additional 250,000 customers. The Demo Day, signaling the end of ARM’s corporate Accelerator programme was aimed at showcasing the progress made by the six start-ups. The event was held at Impact Hub on Tuesday, 30th April 2019.
The demo day event was attended by ARM executives and members of the board of Advisors for Labs by ARM including; Africa Partner for Alta Global Ventures, Victor Asemota, CEO, Jumoke Ogundare, Deputy CEO, Sadiq Mohammed, MD, ARM Academy Uche Azubuike and MD, ARM Financial Advisers, Henrietta Bankole-Olusina and they spoke about why it was important for established companies to partner with start-ups. Financial institutions, Investors and press from across the continent were also in attendance.
The six start-ups who presented their innovations were:
- TROVE www.troveapp.co: Trove is a self-directed trading mobile application that allows Africans to invest in financial securities in Africa (Government Bonds, Stocks) and also in international markets (US Exchange Traded Funds & Stocks of US companies) with the tap of a button.
- ASUSU www.asusu.ng: ASUSU is building the infrastructure for informal micro-financial services by digitizing the financial activities of low income and daily earners through cooperatives, trade groups, and agent networks and partnerships.
- PAYDAY INVESTOR www.paydayinvestor.ng: Payday Investor is a mobile and web application that allows users to invest in ARMs money market fund, one of the most secure mutual funds in Nigeria, promising higher returns than traditional savings along with capital preservation.
- TSARON TECHNOLOGY www.tsaron.com: Tsaron offers group insurance in a ticket through vehicle monitoring, driver monitoring and through issued passenger tickets.
- OGARANYA www.ogaranya.ng: Ogaranya is a platform for merchants to accept orders via SMS from their users and payment over USSD. They are bridging the online-offline commerce gap.
- FINT www.fint.ng: FINT is a loan marketplace that connects Nigerians looking for affordable credit with Nigerians, whether institutions or individual, looking for attractive returns.