Yes, we held our first event of 2018 on Friday, November 30, 2018, in partnership with Softcom. If you missed it (how could you?), we figured you don’t have to miss out on the gist too – so here’s a recap:
TC Townhall: Fintech 2.0 set out to build on the pre-existing conversations around Nigeria’s Fintech industry to identify possible narratives that could determine what the future of the space looked like. We’ve been talking about funding, regulation, and products within the segment for the past few years. But where is it all headed? That’s the question.
This was the plan: an intimate venue that could host ~100 people (way more people registered to attend), an agenda that would consist of an innovator showcase, a context setting presentation, a theme panel and enough room for networking and food.
The venue was at Softcom’s office in Ikeja GRA, Lagos and the day’s host was (the awesome) Chidi Uguru, Head of Business Development at Big Cabal Media (TechCabal’s parent company, for the unaware). For the innovator showcase, we had crypto platform BuyCoins, venture capital firm Ventures Platform, and Eyowo, Softcom’s payment product.
Timi Ajiboye, Founder/CEO At BuyCoins, in his presentation spoke about how the startup is powering crypto payments and exchange in Nigeria, giving insight into what role digital currencies could play in the future of financial technology.
For Ventures Platform, Mimshack Obioha, Director – Innovation Consulting & Entrepreneurship Programs, talked about how the venture capital firm is thinking about possible Fintech opportunities in the country as well as its ARM Labs accelerator which it is running through a partnership with ARM.
Softcom CIO Tomi Amao talked about Eyowo, a new generation payments platform which is aiming to make payments as ubiquitous as possible. He emphasized his point with a live demo of the product which saw everyone in the audience receive N1,000 each (if you didn’t attend, sorry for you).
Before the theme panel had their session, TechCabal Editor-In-Chief Bankole Oluwafemi delivered a context-setting presentation that trailed the history of the financial technology in Nigeria with an overview of the state of the industry leading up to the present.
Our incredible panelists were Adia Sowho, MD (Nigeria) at Mines.io; Titi Adeoye-Odunfa, CEO/Founder at Sankore Investments; Tomi Amao, CIO at Softcom; angel investor Yvonne Johnson; and Gbenga ‘GB’ Agboola, CEO/Co-Founder at Flutterwave. The panel was moderated by Dr. Yinka David-West of the Lagos Business School.
The panelists shared a lot of insights as the conversation went from funding to product thinking and the legal landscape of the segment. “Entrepreneurs need to know the rules/regulation before playing in the space,” said Titi Odunfa-Adeoye.On the future of Fintech, Gbenga Agboola has this to say: “For Fintech 2.0, I see merchants getting their payments instantly. I see niche banks emerging as well.” On her part, Titi Odunfa-Adeoye said, “The biggest opportunity I see is in capital aggregation and financial literacy. Let’s begin to look at Wealthtech to solve the real problem Nigerians have which is poverty.”
A Q&A session followed afterwards where the audience got a chance to ask the panelists a number of questions. “Delivery of financial services to the last mile is very tricky and an expensive problem to solve but you can do it if you think through it to understand how to approach it,” said Adia Sowho, in response to a question about delivering financial services to the last mile of unbanked people.
The event officially came to an end after the Q&A. Afterwards, attendees networked, ate, interacted with the Eyowo experience center on site. All in all, it was a great time and testimonies like this are proof of the value attendees got from the event. We’ll be sending out the presentations from the event as well as our context setting presentation on Friday, December 7, 2018 to all attendees. You can also watch the livestream video here.