• Ugo Obilo

daba


daba is a simple financial services platform that allows you to invest in some of the most promising companies in Africa right from the palm of your hand. daba allows investors of all levels to discover, find, and invest in vetted high-growth opportunities in Africa. I had the opportunity to talk with daba’s founders Boum and Anthony as well as their lead software architect - Niyi to learn more about their achievements, vision, and goals for daba.


Understanding the Market


According to the World Economic Forum, over half of the world’s fastest-growing economies are in Africa. Currently, there is a significant amount of disparity in the status of stock exchanges and investment avenues in Africa. These exchanges are hampered by poor governance, minimal investor confidence, and narrow pathways providing continuity between each of them.


From the upstream perspective, African companies have an incredibly difficult time raising capital and accessing funds. Obtaining bank loans, receiving outside investment, and accessing venture capital dollars are all relatively normal and accessible options for companies we are familiar with today in the US. However, in Africa, these opportunities are few and far between, the concept of “bootstrapping” is not an anomaly but likely the only choice for many founders of promising African companies.


Downstream, many investors that are willing and able to invest in these promising ventures are left unable to invest as a result of lacking information and scarcity of resources available to invest safely.


Essentially, there is a massive opportunity in Africa and there are minimal channels for interested parties to get involved and change the tide.


Bridging the Gap


daba’s founders have researched and identified this steep chasm between the needs of growing businesses and potential investors looking for promising investment opportunities. daba’s platform is building the financial infrastructure needed to bridge this gap from the ground up. daba has the potential to safely drive capital in and out of African markets, helping opportunity and demand seamlessly intersect.


With daba, investors will have a single, consolidated platform that will provide them with the necessary tools to invest safely in fully vetted opportunities, approved by daba’s investment team. daba plans to provide an end-to-end solution for investors interested in Africa. From pre-investment intelligence, trade execution capital deployment, and portfolio tracking and management across multiple asset classes and African securities. Additionally, capital seekers will have the ability to raise capital, build community, and secure alternative financing options, all through daba.


A platform for all


daba’s team is working tirelessly to launch a product that will serve investors holistically. From the common investor perspective, there are numerous prevailing factors that typically deter individuals from investing in different securities: lack of knowledge, inability to discern good opportunities from bad, and market intimidation. daba is building a platform with all these factors in mind and more, its founders have set out to democratize investing in public and private African capital markets understanding that the current state of investing is disjointed and intimidating for many interested and able investors. Secondly, daba is committed to an easy-to-use platform, prioritizing simplicity and striving to ensure that investors of all educational levels can source the information they need right from daba’s platform. Lastly, daba is dedicated to providing a safe platform for investors and capital seekers, ensuring regulatory compliance and adequate due diligence, a crucial component of investing at all stages.



The Founding Team


daba’s team is nothing short of impressive, composed of individuals with diverse backgrounds but all sharing a common vision for improving access to capital on the African Continent. daba’s CEO & Co-Founder, Boum is no stranger to building a successful startup. He grew his first company to $1M in annual recurring revenue in under 3 years, while having a full-time job. How’s that for a “side-hustle” – additionally, Boum bolsters his credentials with a strong background in the space, having worked as a fintech software engineer for 5 years at Nasdaq and possessing an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Anthony, the Head of Product & Co-Founder brings strong experience in product marketing and management, having worked for both Salvatore Ferragamo and Coca Cola’s e-commerce division for 4 years, in addition to holding a product management role at a Techstars backed SaaS startup. Anthony also lived in Africa for 14 years bringing a true personal touch to the product from his lived experiences. Lastly, Niyi, the lead software architect, has over 8 years of engineering experience having built cloud-based solutions at world-class companies like Capital One and Confluent.


In addition to the team’s clear credentials and alignment in the space, one thing that truly impressed me is their commitment to hiring and training talent in the markets daba looks to serve. I had the firsthand privilege of witnessing the team meet with engineers in Ghana to discuss daba’s vision and next steps for their roles within the company.


As the business world turns to emerging markets and looks to Africa as the next frontier, it is important to note that the increasingly educated and young talent base of Africa will be supporting Africa’s predicted economic leap. daba’s founding team not only understands this but is already taking the necessary steps to have a positive impact in this regard.



Next Steps


daba’s founders have exhibited an ability to move swiftly which is likely due to their extensive backgrounds in the startup world. daba currently has a growing beta waitlist of about 400 users who have pledged to invest over $2.3M USD within 12 months of the launch of the platform, without advertisement spend. daba has secured representation from the leading financial services law firm Morrison Foerster to ensure the platform properly navigates the tight regulatory landscape. To add, daba has a few accolades. The startup won the P33 Techrise Discover Financial Services Chicago Fintech competition. daba’s beta launch is scheduled for early April this year.


If you are interested in signing up for daba’s beta release or if you want to learn more, please head over to https://www.dabafinance.com/ and follow them on their social networks. If you have any questions for the team, please feel free to reach out to them at info@joindaba.com.