- Launched in 2017, XENO uses artificial intelligence (AI) to help people plan, save, and invest their money in a diversified investment portfolio.
Impact venture capital firm Beyond Capital Ventures is pleased to announce its fifth investment: XENO Corporation (XENO), the first fintech company to join the Fund’s growing portfolio. Based in Uganda, XENO is a goal-based investment platform that helps millions in Africa to plan, save, and invest for any financial goal from as little as $3 via web, app, or USSD – with or without access to the internet. Beyond Capital Ventures is proud to be the lead investor of XENO’s $2 million seed round. General Partner Eva Yazhari will join XENO’s Board of Directors as an Observer.
XENO democratizes access to professional investment management through its proprietary goal-based investment platform that allows users to save with or without access to the internet. Over 428 million working individuals in Sub-Saharan Africa generate $1.7 trillion annually. However, most do not save at all, or have savings that are not invested. Often, the value of their savings is eroded by charges and inflation. XENO provides a low barrier-to-entry for customers by providing free goal-based investment planning and charges a low management fee for assets under management. XENO gains additional revenue by increasing customer’s assets under management, ensuring the company’s interests are aligned with their customers’.
XENO’s combination of easy-to-use technology, free goal-based investment planning and low management fees provides the foundation to increase financial access for individuals who previously lacked access to professional asset and wealth management. Notably, XENO is able to provide customers with financial education, clear investment advice, and a pathway to save for financial goals which would otherwise be exceedingly difficult to achieve. Since its launch, XENO has already helped 20,000 people to plan, save and invest, and plans to scale across the African continent.
“We are excited to begin a partnership with XENO as the company is well-positioned to scale. Aéko Ongodia has extensive experience managing portfolios in Sub-Saharan Africa and has proven success in growing customer assets under management,” said Eva Yazhari, General Partner of Beyond Capital Ventures. “The XENO team is providing an important solution to an undervalued market segment, and is dedicated to helping customers achieve their financial goals. We believe the company is perfectly positioned to make those goals a reality.”
XENO was founded in 2017 by Chief Executive Officer Aéko Ongodia, who was previously portfolio manager of a $1.3 billion fund. Ongodia has significant experience and expertise in investment management with a sixteen-year career that included roles at Stanbic bank, Bank of Uganda (BOU) and the Ugandan National Social Security Fund (NSSF), and QuanEast Advisory. Ongodia holds a M.S. in Applied Mathematics and Statistics from Stony Brook University and a MSc in Mathematical Trading & Finance from Cass Business School.
While working at QuanEast Advisory in Kampala, Ongodia advised institutional investors on asset management before noticing a critical gap in the market for retail investors. He wanted to provide all individuals with access to quality investment advice which was available only to large institutions.
“Eva Yazhari and her team clearly understood the problem we set out to solve: to enable the average person to build financial resilience by helping them to conveniently invest their savings to meet future financial goals, whatever they may be. In Beyond Capital Ventures, we found a team that was methodical in its evaluation, thoughtful in approaching the opportunity, and demonstrated an unmatched depth in understanding our journey and vision of the future,” said Aéko Ongodia, CEO of XENO.
ABOUT XENO CORPORATION
XENO is a goal-based investment platform that helps millions in Africa to plan, save, and invest for any financial goal from as little as $3 via web, app, or USSD. XENO utilizes a goal-based investment approach to help users come up with a plan to save and invest current earnings to smartly accomplish a specific financial goal in future. The innovative platform allows users to save with or without access to the internet, increasing financial access in traditionally underserved areas.
ABOUT BEYOND CAPITAL VENTURES
Beyond Capital Ventures is a women-led emerging markets impact venture capital firm, offering a diversified, dynamic, and de-risked portfolio. The firm invests in the next wave of innovations that address the growing needs of 1 billion+ consumers in India and East Africa. Beyond Capital Ventures invests in conscious leaders building businesses to address growing needs in “need-to-have” sectors, primarily in healthcare, agriculture and financial inclusion. The fund will also pioneer an Equitable Venture structure that provides Series A level founders in the portfolio with a profit share in the GP carry.