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Nigerian Startup Builds Sproutly, A Virtual Banking App For Kids

Entrepreneurship

June 3, 2022, 9:21 p.m.

A Nigerian fintech startup founded in 2021 is helping kids under the age of 17 save, manage and spend their money. Called Sproutly, the virtual banking app provides these kids with digital savings products and a debit card with built-in parental control. Parents get to control outflows and set targets via a parents app for their children.

Pierre Nwoke, Maxwell Agu, and Prince Akachi founded Sproutly when Nwoke tried to open a savings account for his teenage brother in 2020. "He was done with secondary school and preparing for university admissions, and I must say it was one hell of a journey to open a savings account for him being underaged. We ended up doing so after one year and using one of my banks and my debit card for the entire period he was trying to open an account," Nwoke said.

With Sproutly, parents can also apply for overdrafts to serve kids' immediate needs through the Sproutly Overdraft feature, with the startup also offering a tuition fee collection service called Bursary.

The team took about three months researching pre-existing viable options and alternatives people use currently, like digital banks offering something close to what they wanted to build.

"We had instances of parents who had children below the age of 18 schooling in the diaspora, parents who had kids that spent like money grew on trees, to parents who wanted a platform that would help educate kids financially. Others wanted access to products such as child-friendly loans and quick bailouts when they needed to provide for their kids. Then we stumbled upon the issue of tuition collections and debts," they told Disrupt Africa.

The startup operates an extensive private beta and has over 7,000 kids and 3,000 parents on its waitlist. Active in Nigeria initially, Sproutly wants to expand to Ghana and Kenya later this year. It offers a mix of free basic and premium plans and is in the process of raising a pre-seed funding round.

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tag: Nigeria, startups, Fintech,

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Verny Joy Author

Verny loves to write poetry, fiction and quotes. Her love for writing landed her in journalism. She loves gadgets and travelling to explore new places.

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