Speaking at the just concluded Global Endeavor gala in New York City where they represented the founder of TPG Growth Bill McGlashen, The Co-founders and Co-CEO’s of Cellulant, Bolaji Akinboro and Ken Njoroge stated that economic opportunity and capital investments are critical to Cellulant's tremendous success in sub-Saharan Africa. 'Both Endeavor & TPG have played a role in our journey of impact on the African continent' they said.
The Endeavor network, headquartered in New York City with offices around the world., pioneered the concept of high-impact entrepreneurship in growth markets around the world.
Speaking during a fireside chat at the Gala Bolaji & Ken said that the business of agriculture is viewed as a charity venture; whereas it is a huge business and investment opportunity. We spent years building a digital ecosystem that comprises of all the stakeholders in Agriculture and currently, our technology powers food from the farm to the fork’’.
They also stated that ‘‘through agriculture, for instance, we have been able to put up a payment technology capable of solving real-world problems. The African agricultural sector is a $330 Billion fragmented industry which is fundamentally being driven by cash. Hence our resolve to organise and digitise the money flowing in this sector. This digitisation as we have seen is enabling the industry to become properly valuated which we hope will attract more investors into it as well as help the farmers to grow visible in the financial sector, which then opens them up to credit and other benefits.
Today, Cellulant is using this payment technology to solve social and economic challenges and impact lives. According to Bolaji, ‘‘our goal is to build a $1bn business in 2023. We intend to do this by making the agricultural segment a digitally driven payment sector that provides digital payments and access to the market for farmers in Africa, not only are we solving social problems by making food accessible, but we are also helping the indigent farmer get more money. We also know that the average household income of farmers in rural areas who are using our technology is growing from $2 to $5 a day. In this process, we are not only creating wealth but also doing good.
In a related development, Ken Njoroge underscored the immense business opportunities Endeavor would make with its entrant into the African (Nigerian and Kenyan) market. ‘‘It needs large pipelines on start-ups so that they can go through the different stages of business growth. The network staying through to its core values have the potential to change the business ecosystem in Africa’’.
Cellulant’s technology is also creating new jobs and democratising access to banking by empowering micro-entrepreneurs to set up “Neighborhood Banking service points” in the form of a kiosk to provide financial services such as loans, cash withdrawal, and bill payment in historically unbanked communities — a win-win situation.
Finishing up in an interview by Edgar Bronfman Jr, Bolaji asked everyone present to invest more in Africa, as Africa is the new land of opportunity and has excellent opportunities in the various sectors, especially in the technology space.