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Nigerian Co – Owned FINTECH , Esusu Raises $2 .3 Million Fundings In USA

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images 91 1 Nigerian Co - Owned FINTECH , Esusu Raises $2 .3 Million Fundings In USA

Nigeria-Inspired Fintech Esusu Raises $2.3 Million in Seed Extension to Fuel Its Expansion to 1M Rental Units.
Millions of Americans have lost jobs and missed rent payments due to the pandemic, a striking reminder of the looming financial duress many households are under. On Wednesday, the digital savings app Esusu, which targets immigrant and minority groups, announced the close of a $2.3 million seed round, bringing its total financing to $4 million.
Cofounders Wemimo Abbey and Samir Goel began fundraising in June and the latest round includes investors like Impact America Fund, Zeal Capital Partners, and Next Play Ventures, the latter of which is led by LinkedIn chairman and former CEO Jeff Weiner.
Founded in 2018, Esusu is a rotational savings and credit building app that allows users to pool and withdraw money for big-ticket transactions, such as a down-payment on a house. These purchases and the fulfillment of debt obligations are then reported to credit bureaus to help users establish or improve their credit profiles. The fintech company also doubles as a rental data reporting service by partnering with landlords, property managers, public housing authorities, and consumers to report tenants’ rent payment history, one of the most sizable and consistent payments for Americans.
“We’re trying to address the fact that millions of people have a thin credit score or no credit score at all, while the average debt is around $135,000,” says Abbey who made Forbes 30 Under 30 list in 2019 along with cofounder Goel. “People are seeing the impact of what Esusu can do for their financial identity, which gives them a lot of leverage.”
The two launched a rent relief fund in April and have raised nearly half a million dollars through an initial crowdfunding campaign and later, from the nonprofit impact investment fund Acumen and The Global Good Fund.
Applicants are vetted based on greatest need and must pay back the interest-free loans within 12 months. “The pandemic’s disproportionately harmful impact on underserved communities has reinforced the importance of closing societal divides and ensuring that equal talent has equal access to opportunity,” says Weiner, founding partner at Next Play Ventures. “Esusu provides a foundational building block in making that a reality.”
More than 5,000 renters across the U.S. have applied for Esusu’s financial assistance and the fund has deployed about a quarter-million dollars. About 85% of applicants are Black, 7% are non-Black people of color and the remaining 6% are Caucasian, which Goel says is telling.
“People have succeeded economically in the U.S. through access to cheap debt, so the essential redress to that problem is helping Black folks get access to good credit so that they can get cheap loans and invest in homes and other products,” Goel says. “Social justice will take a lot of time but we can focus on economic justice and begin to help equalize wealth building.”
Esusu makes money from rent reporting by charging landlords $2 per unit each month. The value proposition for landlords is a 25% uptick in punctual rental payments and an amenity that they can use to lure new high-quality tenants or keep existing tenants who want to continue to build their credit.
Less than 1% of rental payments are reported to the major credit bureaus despite constituting the largest single monthly expenditure for American consumers and acting as a strong predictor of an individual’s credit risk.
“Our modus operandi centers on how we can help people achieve their financial best and we fundamentally believe that we can leverage our comprehensive tapestry of data to eliminate the racial wealth gap,” Abbey says.
Esusu currently operates in more than 30 states and covers over 200,000 rental units in cities like New York, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Houston and Portland. It plans to expand across all 50 states within the next year and projects $1 million in revenue by year-end. With its latest capital infusion, Esusu plans to add new hires to its 25-person team.

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CBN prepares for recession, reduces benchmark lending rate to 11.5%

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images 59 2 CBN prepares for recession, reduces benchmark lending rate to 11.5%

The Central Bank of Nigeria on Tuesday reduced the Monetary Policy Rate by 100 basis points from 12. 5 per cent to 11 . 5 per cent after its two- day Monetary Policy Committee meeting in Abuja.
The 10 members of the committee who were in attendance voted to retain the Cash Reserve Ratio and Liquidity Ratio at 27 .5 per cent and 30 per cent respectively .
The MPC adjusted the asymmetric corridor from +200 /- 500 basis points to +100 /- 700 basis points around the MPR .
The Central Bank Governor , Godwin Emefiele , disclosed these while presenting the communiqué after the meeting.
He said , “ At present , fiscal policy is constrained and so cannot , on its own, lift the economy out of contraction or recession given the paucity of funds arising from weak revenue base , current low crude oil prices , lack of fiscal buffers and high burden of debt services . ”
He said the committee expressed deep concern on the continued uptick in inflation for the twelfth consecutive month as headline inflation ( year – on – year ) rose to 13 . 22 per cent in August from 12 .82 per cent in July 2020.
“ The increase in headline inflation was largely driven by the persistent increase in the food component, which rose to 16 per cent in August 2020 from 15 .48 per cent in July 2020, ” he said .
Emefiele said the committee stressed the urgent need for a combination of broad – based monetary and fiscal policy measures to curb the rise in inflation and contraction in output growth .
Explaining further , he said , “ In the light of this , reducing MPR will signal to the Deposit Money Banks to lend more to stimulate growth , increase aggregate supply , which should dampen prices in the immediate term .”
Emefiele said , “ The MPC was, at this meeting , confronted by policy dilemma .
“ Whereas MPC believes in the primacy of its price and monetary stability mandate, it nevertheless was confronted with what policy direction to focus on, given the contraction in output growth during the second quarter of 2020, which may lead to a recession, if the third quarter of 2020 output growth numbers further show a contraction .
“ It is , therefore , of the view that , if a recession occurs in Q3 , the committee would be confronted with proposing policy options in a period of stagflation . ”
“ The committee also noted the rising public debt profile and urged the fiscal authority to strengthen its debt management strategy , explore other sources of revenue , as well as enhance efficiency in public expenditure ,” he added.
Financial experts, however, differ on the reduction in the MPR .
The Director – General , Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry , Dr Muda Yusuf , said , “ The adjustment of the MPR by 100 basis points from 12 .5 per cent to 11. 5 per cent by the MPC was a surprise .
“ My expectation was that the status quo would be maintained.
“ Rates were already generally low in the money market . In fact , concerns were being expressed about the fact the real savings and deposits rate were negative.
“ But , I do not believe it would have any material impact on lending rates .”
A former President , Association of National Accountants of Nigeria , Dr Sam Nzekwe , praised the CBN for the reduction in the lending rate.
He said , “ That is a good development and it shows they are beginning to listen to what we are saying because some of us have always said the interest rates should come down. ”
Professor of capital market , Nasarawa State University , Prof . Uche Uwaleke , said , “ I expected the MPC to maintain the status quo , to hold the rates because of the spike in inflation that we witnessed last month .”
He added that the inflationary pressure and the pump price of fuel which was recently increased would exert more pressure on inflation .

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CBN reduces benchmark lending rate to 11.5%

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images 59 2 CBN reduces benchmark lending rate to 11.5%

The Central Bank of Nigeria on Tuesday reduced the Monetary Policy Rate from 12. 5 per cent to 11 . 5 per cent after the two – day Monetary Policy Committee Meeting in Abuja.
The committee also voted to retain the Cash Reserve Ratio and Liquidity Ratio at 27 .5 per cent and 30 per cent respectively .
The Central Bank Governor , Godwin Emefiele, disclosed this while presenting the communiqué after the meeting.
Details later …

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Bearish sentiment strengthen at NSE amid weakening economic indices

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images 30 3 Bearish sentiment strengthen at NSE amid weakening economic indices

Nigeria’s stock market again closed lower for the second consecutive week with the trading pattern and negative sentiments revealing selloffs in banking stocks, which pulled down the NSE market capitalisation down by N14 billion week-on-week (w-o-w).

The negative performance was down to profit taking in the shares of Zenith Bank, Stanbic, Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI) and FBN Holdings. This led to the All Share Index (ASI) falling by 0.08 per cent to 25,572.57 points.

Consequently, the Month-to-Date (MtD) gain declined to 1.0 per cent, while the Year-to-Date (YtD) loss increased to -4.7 per cent.

Performance across sectors was mixed although positively skewed as three of six indices trended northward. The Industrial Goods index led gainers, up 0.5 per cent w/w on the back of bargain hunting in CAP (+8.6 per cent). Trailing, the Consumer Goods and Insurance indices rose 0.1 per cent and 0.01 per cent w/w respectively due to price appreciation in Nigeria Breweries (+2.3 per cent) and Wapic (+12.1 per cent).

Conversely, the Oil & Gas index led losers, down 1.0 per cent w-o-w following sell-offs in Oando (-4.2 per cent)while price depreciation in FCMB (-6.4 per cent) dragged performance in the Banking index by 0.7 per cent w-o-w. Finally, the AFR-ICT index closed flat. Reacting to the market performance, analysts who spoke to Daily Sun, attributed the downturn to the weak macroeconomic state of the nation and added that profit taking is likely to persist as the month of September progresses in the midst of profit booking, mismatch of economic policies and negative macroeconomic indices.

This is coming on the back of persistent pressure on consumer prices in August 2020 as headline inflation rose to 13.2 per cent year-on-year (y-o-y) from 12.8 per cent in July, according to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) report published by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

Investigations by Daily Sun show that this is the 12th consecutive rise in inflation and the highest level since March 2018 while the sharp increase in headline inflation was driven by a faster m/m inflation, which was up 10 basis points to 1.3 per cent, the highest since June 2017.

Chief Operating Officer, Ambrose Omordion, explained that the August inflation data came worse than expected at 13.22 per cent, thereby deepening the negative returns of many investment windows. Omordion noted that mixed (positive and negative) sentiments would continue to dominate the market as the month of September progresses in the midst of profit booking, mismatch of economic policies and negative macroeconomic indices.

According to him, this is against the backdrop of the fact that the capital wave in the financial market may persist in the midst of relatively low-interest rates in the money market, high inflation, negative Q2 GDP of 6.1 per cent and unstable economic outlook for the rest of 2020 as government and its economic managers are going front and back with mismatch polices and implementation.

“Also, investors and traders are positioning amidst the changing sentiments in the hope of improved liquidity and positive economic indices which may reverse the current trend. We see investors focusing on portfolio adjustment and rebalancing by targeting companies with strong potentials to grow their Q3 earnings and dividend on the strength of their earnings capacity as the year last quarter is at the corner.

Again, the current undervalue state of the market offers investors opportunities to position for the short, medium and long-term, which is why investors should target fundamentally sound, and dividend-paying stocks for possible capital appreciation for the rest of the year”, He said.

For their part, Cordros Capital, said, “In the absence of a positive catalyst, and given the still uninspiring macro story, we guide investors to trade cautiously in the short term. However, we expect the market might benefit over the longer term on compelling valuations and as investors seek alpha-yielding opportunities in the face of negative real returns in the fixed income market”.

Meanwhile, a total turnover of 1.139 billion shares worth N12.692 billion in 17,109 deals were traded by investors, in contrast to a total of 1.226 billion shares valued at N10.842 billion that exchanged hands last week in 19,529 deals.

The Financial Services industry (measured by volume) led the activity chart with 870.300 million shares valued at N7.863 billion traded in 9,427 deals; thus contributing 76.43 and 61.95 per cent to the total equity turnover volume and value respectively.

The Industrial Goods industry followed with 62.689 million shares worth N1.162 billion in 1,557 deals while the ICT industry recorded a turnover of 50.859 million shares worth N2.552 billion in 619 deals. Trading in the top three equities namely FBN Holdings Plc, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc and Access Bank Plc. (measured by volume) accounted for 353.048 million shares worth N4.018 billion in 3,095 deals, contributing 31.00 and 31.66 per cent to the total equity turnover volume and value respectively.

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