When Robinhood raised its $3 million seed in 2013, it was only a few months old that democratization could reach the underprivileged and the underprivileged with greater ambitions for security. Robinhood has taken the world by storm ever since and has been able to serve more than 30 million users through its zero-commission trading. In the past, we have seen similar growth in other regions around the world, inspiring similar businesses. Robinhood is no exception. Several platforms have emerged to bring stock trading opportunities to their respective markets. In Nigeria, at least four platforms supply both individual and foreign stocks. The wheel is such a platform.
Today, it is announcing the closure of its $1.5 million pre-seed round to strengthen digital investment for individuals and businesses. The pre-seed round was led by Breaker Capital, while 4DX Ventures, Golden Palm Investments, Future Africa, Seed Stars, and Musha Ventures participated. This is the second joint venture between 4DX Ventures and Briar Capital in two weeks, the first on the Egyptian social e-commerce platform Tagger.
It is a well-known fact that even before Robinhood, the average American actively participated in stock trading. Gallup’s survey found that in 2000, about 60% of Americans held some stock; in 2020, that number dropped to 55%. This was partly due to the 2008 global financial crisis. The accident also affected the Nigerian capital market and since Nigerians lost a lot of money during that period, most of the population relied on stock trading. Yet for the average Nigerian interested, it is difficult to participate in local share transactions; and virtually impossible for foreigners.
Tosin Osibodu, while in the United States, recognized the problem and returned to Nigeria in 2019 to officially launch the company. According to Osibdu, the wheel wanted to create opportunities for Nigerians to invest in dollar assets and at the same time allow foreigners to invest in Nigerian assets. “If there is more demand in the market over time, we hope there will be more supply. If you move fast for the long term, we hope that our local capital markets will continue to grow,” he told TechCrunch in an interview. “We will provide borderless digital access to multiple solutions and so not only should Nigerians invest in the market, it’s about making the markets accessible to people locally and globally.”