Young Nigerians are developing various innovative platforms particularly in the fintech industry which is revolutionising the Nigerian financial sector, one of such being Piggy Vest, a solution started by Somto Ifezue, Odunayo Eweniyi and Joshua Chibueze.
Piggy Vest’s achievements and future goals earned Odunayo Eweniyi the youngest person nomination on the Forbes Africa list of 20 New Wealth Creators.
Here is Odunayo Eweniyi talking about Piggy Vest, their products, and her journey to being a tech entrepreneur.
When was Piggy Vest set up?
Initially, it was called Piggy bank and was launched in 2016, but now it is called Piggy Vest
Why did the name have to change from Piggy Bank to Piggy Vest? The name was changed because of the expansion of our product offering from just savings to cover more financial services specifically investments, insurance, and kind of all other services in the financial ecosystem.
How has the journey been?
It’s been extremely fast-paced and exciting, although, of course, not without challenges. But we were fortunate that, as a founding team. We have come together with a wealth of experience and skills that complement each other. In terms of the fundraising experience, whilst we have really had to dig deep and deliver results in order to get us in the best possible position to start fundraising, and we had to curate our vision for the future to excite and attract investors
How did the Piggy Vest idea get formulated?
Well, we got inspired by seeing what people were doing on Social Media, right, so we saw that people were saving in actual wooden boxes outside of their bank accounts. The average young Nigerian has at least two bank accounts but in addition to that, the person also had a “kolo” or an actual piggy bank. So when we set up the platform, it was to help people save little amounts of money as an alternative to their existing bank accounts.
How do you think African youths can continue to support each other? By promoting our challenges and successes, as well as encouraging one another. It is also important that as youths and millennials, we should encourage collaboration with one another. Piggybank.ng was co-founded by university friends – if we decided to ‘go it alone’, who knows where Piggybank.ng and its founders would be today.
What makes Piggy Vest stand out from the rest?
I would say the founders, our execution and just our mental strides. We, I think have developed a unique way of rolling out our products to the market and that has helped us so far. I also think certainly our emphasis on customer service. We have a mission to help people better manage their finances, by providing transparency and clarity. The flexibility and the ease of it also differentiate us
How many jobs have you created so far?
We have created 11 jobs so far, across programming, product strategy, marketing, customer experience, finance design, and business development. We are keen on keeping a lean team and hiring for only the most essential of positions. However, we are sure that Piggybank as a platform will indirectly create even more jobs by enabling some of our users to start their own companies eventually hiring staff, and helping businesses better manage their finances.
How do you go out carrying the investment process?
Well, for the first two years that we ran the company, we didn’t raise any fund or get any money from investors, so we ran it with our own funds; completely bootstrapped, but further into the business we got really incredible investors. We raised 1.1million dollars from a mixture of Nigerian and American investors and the process was kind of networking.
You were featured in the Forbes list of 20 wealth creators and one of the youngest Nigerians on the list, how was that experience like?
Well, the youngest Nigerian on the list, not one of, the rest of them is much older than me. It was really nice, I mean, the award is kind of to validate what you are doing, like, you are on the right part so it felt really good to have that. I am incredibly honored to have been featured on that list with those calibers of women and I hope to continue to live up to it.
So what is the next level for Piggy Vest?
Our main goal is to bring in all kinds of financial services into the platform for our users in a way that it is democratized, broken down, and affordable, in ways that young people can finally have access to all these financial services they were previously excluded from.