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SEP 2023 NEWS Aluko & Oyebode

In the ever-evolving landscape of innovation, the intersection of technology, finance, and regulation has become a pivotal touchpoint. At the inaugural annual Aluko & Oyebode Fintech Webinar, our focus over the two-session event with fintech thought leaders and experts delved into critical conversations on the concepts of fundraising and compliance in the financial technology landscape. These discussions explored the challenges and opportunities that fintech companies encounter on their journey to scalability, growth, and sustainability.

Session 1: Navigating the Challenges of Regulation and Compliance in the Fintech Space

Mr. Kehinde Ilesanmi, co-founder of the neo-bank, Dot, emphasised the need for fintech companies to recognise the importance of regulatory frameworks. Clear-cut regulatory direction, as Kehinde reiterated, enables these innovative companies navigate the compliance environment while remaining profitable.

Mrs. Tolulope Omoleye-Osindero, of Branch International, echoed this sentiment, advocating for a symbiotic relationship between startups and regulators to ensure compliance. She stressed the importance of building solid internal processes.

Mr. Chika Ugwueze, of the Central Bank of Nigeria, provided robust insight into the underpinnings which drive the regulatory posture in the broader financial system and emphasised that the regulator was supportive of innovation.

Dr. Babatunde Obrimah, Chief Operating Officer of the Fintech Association of Nigeria, in his insightful contribution, underlined the significance of interoperability among regulators, a move that could help streamline the licensing process for Nigerian fintech companies.

Funmilayo Otsemobor, Partner at Aluko & Oyebode, said that horizon scanning is an effective compliance mechanism that fintech companies should adopt. This mechanism helps fintech companies stay up-to-date on developments in the various jurisdictions they operate in and get a sense of what future policy directions could be.


Session 2: From Bootstrapping to IPO: The Funding Journey in Nigeria

Mr. Tosin Eniolorunda, co-founder of Africa’s second-fastest growing company, Moniepoint, set the tone by addressing the regulatory landscape of fund raising in Nigeria. He emphasised that, while regulatory impediments to capital raise are limited, regulators seek information on capital sources for oversight purposes.

Dr. Yemi Osindero, Managing Partner of Uhuru Investment Partners, provided a pragmatic perspective on the funding dynamics, underscoring the need for startups to demonstrate resilience and growth to attract funding.

Mr. Jude Chiemeka, Divisional Head of Capital Markets at NGX Group Plc, provided insight into steps market infrastructures are taking to provide fintechs and startups access to capital.

Dr. Ajibola Asolo, Partner at Aluko & Oyebode, noted that achieving cohesion among fintechs, investors, and regulators in Nigeria requires a balanced and proportionate approach that considers both the need for innovation, on the one hand, and consumer protection, on the other.