Although a certified tech individual, Tosin Osibodu is a stockbroker by passion. The passion for trading and investment led the engineering graduate to launch Chaka, an investment platform that allows Africans to buy and invest in local and global stocks.
Apart from founding Chaka out of passion, Tosin also founded the company with the intention of proffering a feasible solution to the Nigerian stock market problem, which hindered Nigerians from buying and investing in stocks both locally and internationally.
The huge gap
While schooling at the University of Pennsylvania, he noticed that in terms of accessibility, there was a huge difference between the United States stock market and Nigeria’s stock market structure.
Compared to the U.S stock acquisition that is seamless, buying and investing in stock in Nigeria is a hurdle. This prevents Nigerians, especially the middle class, from investing and increasing their income over time.
Due to this, the local market and currency performance in the country continues to drastically decline while the dollar, on the other hand, continues to skyrocket, and international companies in the country continue to generate increased revenue.
Looking at the data, he discovered that it was due to an imbalance in the industry. While international firms like Netflix, MTN, and Apple continue to generate billions of revenue from the Nigerian market, nothing goes back to the people.
This is because they cannot buy and invest in the country to have a share of the profit. He reasoned that if Nigerians could invest in such brands, they would be able to benefit from the profits being declared.
A step in the right direction
After getting all his facts right, Tosin Osibodu returned to Nigeria, his country. With his skill as a software engineer, he partnered with his cousin, Bolanle Osibodu, a financial expert.
Blending their expertise, they developed an automated system that makes the investment process in Nigeria seamless. In 2019, they founded Chaka.
With the completion of a basic verification procedure and funding of accounts, Nigerians can acquire and invest in stocks.
The platform also allows users to invest in index funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) that represent different industries, nations, and regions. This provides diversification of portfolios and mutual funds.
Thanks to its no-minimum investment policy, the stock market is made available to everyone, not just the wealthy few.
He says, “If you are above 18 years and interested in investing, we don’t believe that funds should restrict you”.
In 2021, Chaka became Nigeria’s first financial technology start-up to acquire a digital sub-broker license from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). This gave the company the authorisation to trade stocks digitally.
In the same year, the firm partnered with TradingView, a popular online charting tool for investors, to enable users to access and detect investment opportunities in the global market.
This made Chaka the first African broker to launch TradingView for retail investors and businesses on the continent.
According to Tosin Osibodu, “This partnership with TradingView aligns with our mission to enable borderless digital investing for every African.
As we work to expand our footprints on the continent, one of our key objectives is to identify and harness strategic partnerships. Also, to leverage our proprietary infrastructure to deliver world-class, leading tools and platforms for Africans to invest, trade, and build lasting wealth”.
Life before Chaka
Before founding Chaka, Tosin held different tech positions between 2014 and 2019 at prominent firms such as AppNexus, Citiserve, and GUMCO.
He also co-founded Diastora, an e-commerce startup that distributes in-demand ethnic foods in the United States. He acted as the company’s chief executive officer (CEO) from 2014 – 2016.