Bamboo, one of Nigeria’s leading online brokerage firms, has expanded into Ghana, making it the first trans-national west-African brokerage app. Through a partnership with 10th Capital Investments, a licensed Ghanaian firm, the more than 50,000 users on Bamboo Ghana’s waitlist will now be able to buy and invest in stocks from US companies like Apple Inc and Tesla.
When Bamboo raised a $15 million series A round in January, its CEO announced that Ghana’s market was the company’s next frontier. Nine months and another $17.4 million raise later, the Ghana plans have become a reality. In a statement shared with TechCabal, Bamboo said it recently received a No Objection Letter from Ghana’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to operate in the country, enabling it to launch successfully.
“We believe strongly that all Africans should earn a return on their investments and build intergenerational wealth. That’s why we created Bamboo: we wanted to create an easy and secure way for everyday Africans to invest in the US stock market, and eventually, in all types of asset classes,” said Richmond Bassey, Bamboo CEO and co-founder.
Since its 2019 launch, Bamboo and other retail investment apps providing access to foreign securities like Chaka, Trove and Rise have had to deal with harsh regulatory conditions in their home country Nigeria. In April last year, Nigeria’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) labelled this category of companies as illegal and warned operators in the capital market to desist from operating with them. This was followed by Nigeria’s central bank describing Bamboo as unlicensed and freezing its bank accounts for a while. Despite the struggles, Bamboo has maintained its resolve to work “very closely with regulators in Nigeria,” to ensure mutual satisfaction from both parties.
Now in Ghana, Bamboo has committed to working with the country’s SEC on an ongoing basis to develop a standard regulatory framework for the retail investment industry Bamboo is pioneering. Through Bamboo’s US digital investing partner, DriveWealth LLC, the Nigerian-born company assures users that all accounts can claim insurance of up to $500,000 via the US Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC). With regulations and insurance in place, Bamboo is ready to make retail investment a norm in Ghana.
Albert Asiamah, 10th Capital Investments COO, was effusive about the performance of Bamboo’s product in Nigeria, describing the investment as ideal and beneficial.
“We’re thrilled to work with [the Bamboo team] to bring Ghanaians the opportunity to invest in the US and eventually the local stock market. Their impeccable track record in Nigeria, stellar product and educational tools make them an ideal collaborator,” he said.
“Together with Bamboo, we’ve been able to provide investors across Africa with affordable access to the US markets. Today, we’re thrilled to extend that same access to the people of Ghana,” said John Shammas, Head of Technical Sales at DriveWealth.
“As we continue our international expansion, we look forward to empowering more customers with the tools they need to improve their financial wellbeing and engage with the markets,” he added.