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Rouzo is a portfolio managed platform that allows smart individual and corporate investors invest in portfolios that are you to provide financing for small businesses. Rouzo platform is owned by Owoafara Fintech services a financial technology company that builds platforms and tools to facilitate small business financing, support and growth.

By investing on Rouzo, investors generate a healthy return and contribute to economic development by empowering small businesses to grow and expand.

Since Owoafara launched in November 2019, we have curated and verified over 300 small businesses for matching with financial institutions with our signature algorithm which we have further refined in the last 3 months. 

With Rouzo, we are providing access to finance to these small businesses in the form of asset finance and working capital finance. 

Our goal is to impact 1 million small businesses in the next 3 years.

How It Works

Rouzo is an online platform that allows verified businesses, access expansion funds for their projects. 

Through the platform, funds are sourced and pooled from individual and corporate investors to sponsor and or invest in a business project.

The goal at Rouzo is to empower over 1 million small businesses in Africa with the financing and support capabilities to grow, become self-sustainable and add value to the economy.

Investors use their online account to easily lend to multiple businesses looking to borrow.We review applications and only Approve verifiable businesses. We then pay out your funds to the businesses you lend to, and process your repayments.Businesses make fixed monthly Repayments with interest, which is managed             and distributed to investors.

The Lending Process

1. A business Applies for Loan

We assess their application and their creditworthiness. If successful, we assign them a risk band and make them an offer. The risk band and loan term helps determine the interest rate they will pay.

2. The Loan is Funded

If accepted, the loan is funded by several investors each lending in small amounts. We refer to them as loan portions. Each loan portion represents the loan contract you and the business have entered into. You’ll be able to lend across lots of loan portions to build a diversified portfolio.

3. The Business Repays The Loan With Interest

Loans are typically repaid in fixed monthly instalments. The business makes the payment to us, and we distribute it to all the investors who lent to them. That means you can start earning interest after your first month.

4. Maintain your investment

As long as you keep your portfolio active on your account, you money will be continuously lent out again on other loans. This helps you to get the maximum return on the portfolio you invested in.

5. Withdraw Funds Options

You can pause lending and withdraw repayments as they come in, or look to sell loan portions to other investors.

Businesses You Lend To

You will lend to established, creditworthy businesses in different sectors and regions throughout Nigeria. Business owners may need finance for a wide range of purposes, including facility expansion, staff hire, buy new stock or equipment, open new premises or boost cash flow. They will pay back their loan in monthly instalments of both principal (the original loan amount) and interest.

We basically segment our portfolio into two to meet these needs:

  • Asset finance portfolio: finances equipment purchase for the businesses and the equipment purchase is used as collateral for the loan.
  • Working capital portfolio: lends to more established businesses, informal cooperatives and association for a short duration of maximum of 90 days to bridge working capital needs.

All businesses will have been trading for minimum of two years, but our average business is 5 years old.

Typical Small Businesses

Meet Stella

After years of dreaming of a way to get people to eat more healthy meals, she got an opportunity to rent a small vacant space right across her church to open a small restaurant with a staff size of 5. She needs financing to purchase equipment and expand her restaurant.

Micro Business

  • 2 years in business
  • Staff strength of 5
  • Average monthly turnover ₦1.5M

Meet Wale

Wale has always nursed the dream of becoming a big time industrialist but decided to start on a portable scale. He owns a small pure water factories, he needs additional trucks and liquid packer machine to scale growth of water production. 

Small Business 

  • 6 years in business
  • Staff strength over 15
  • Average monthly turnover ₦5M

Investor Journey

There are two (2) ways to start your investing journey on Rouzo. You can either “save to invest” or “Invest in a portfolio”

  1. Save to invest Option: this is an opportunity where investors save minimally and gradually until they meet the minimum investment amount required to invest in one of the portfolios.

Investors are then prompted to transfer their saved capital to fund their investment wallet.

This option is for investors who do not have the initial bulk sum or minimum investment amount needed to invest in a business. So, they save to meet up with the requirement and then transfer to an investment wallet for further investment goals and opportunities.

  • Invest in a portfolio: Unlike the Save Sponsor option, this option allows investors to invest directly into one of the portfolio that we will lend to small businesses.

Investors can choose to invest in both portfolio to spread their risk and return or stick to one portfolio that they prefer.

Featured Image Source: ROUZO

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This article was first published on 15th May 2020

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