Raising Funds Like Cowrywise
In a previous post, we looked at the 3 tools you need to thrive as an entrepreneur in Africa in 2021, one of which was social media. This post shows how one African venture gained an investor through social media.
If there’s one thing Africans hate, it’s generational problems. And if there’s one thing that has been a generational problem in Africa, it is that we lack a saving culture. Whether it is attributed to a lack of discipline or a lack of resources, this trend has affected several millions of people across the continent, cutting across almost all levels of the socioeconomic ladder and even affecting business entities. For a rising number of Africans, the desire to save is one of those feelings wriggling around at the back of our minds.
In 2017, Cowrywise arrived on the scene like a New Year’s Day present for Africa’s most impactful generation yet: the millennials, digitally savvy in all their glory. Created by Razaq Ahmed and Edward Popoola to make saving and investment easy for their target audience, Cowrywise has had an undeniably beautiful run as a Nigerian fintech solving an African problem by digitizing wealth generation in Africa.
Over the last 4 years of its existence, Cowrywise has had cause to interact with some of the biggest players in the finance, tech and start-up ecosystems across various parts of the globe. One of the biggest and most impactful of such interactions was being a member YCombinator S18 Batch. That membership put them on the radar of countless investors.
Social media marketing has always been at the core of Cowrywise’s marketing strategies. By meeting their target audience where their target audience is, Cowrywise has built a following of over 87 thousand followers across Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn since its inception. No one would have guessed that the combination of Twitter and the interactions they made through YCombinator would be significant in Cowrywise’s funding rounds.
Fast forward to January 2021, in the days leading up to Cowrywise’s pre-seed funding round, Sahil Lavingia, founder of Gumroad and early-stage start-up investor, found himself sending a Twitter DM to the official Cowrywise Twitter account, introducing himself and asking to be an investor. In less than a day, he was in contact with the CEO of Cowrywise. Sahil ended up joining Quona Capital and Tsadik Foundation as well as other African angel investors in investing $3million in Cowrywise.
What then does this mean for you as a founder? Well, for one, it means your social media game must be tight. Posting relevant content out there for your target audience to see and engaging with your target audience gives you credibility that could speak volumes in the future. It also means that barriers are being broken in the investment funding space. The days of traditional funding are coming to an end, the rules are being re-written (thanks to the power of social media), and walls are coming down. The final lesson here for founders is to check your DMs. Positively unexpected things could happen there.
So, if you are a founder, do not overlook the power of social media. Get your content in order, serve your audience as much as they want to be served and look out for these moments where traditional rules begin to morph into modern-day relics.