Kofoworola Agbaje (Photo Credit: Quona Capital)

Why I Joined Quona

Kofoworola Agbaje joined Quona Capital in 2019 as an Investment Associate focused on Africa, where she works on regional sourcing and due diligence of investment opportunities, as well as supporting Quona and its portfolio companies on operational projects and research. Prior to Quona, Kofoworola worked for the technology team at the Royal Bank of Scotland in London across different investment banking divisions. In addition to working on several high-profile IT integration projects, her previous roles varied from building enterprise software applications to operation management of credit risk applications and teams. We sat down with her to talk about why she joined Quona, and what she sees as the future of financial inclusion.

Tell us a little about you.

I was born in Nigeria and I have spent about half my life in Nigeria, and the other half in London. I am back in Nigeria now because I believe that Nigeria — and Africa as a whole — are at the lower cusp of their innovation and development S-curve. I believe I have a unique opportunity to be part of the monumental change; the continent is ripe for disruption with its massive progressive youth population, hustle mentality and increasing international interest.

Why are you drawn to financial inclusion?

I believe that being included in the financial ecosystem is at the core of financial freedom — and this is even more true as the world becomes more digital.

You studied in the United States, and have lived in London. What made you want to go back to Africa?

There is an indescribable feeling I get seeing and hearing about innovation and inclusion in Africa. Africa is home. The continent is blessed with extensive natural resources and the best minds, yet still lags behind the rest of the world in terms of economic development and progression of its people. Additionally, with a constantly growing youth population, there is an added urgency and excitement around innovation.

What do you see that needs dramatic improvement in Africa?

Knowledge and regulation. Present in every human is the desire to thrive, and not just survive. However there is a significant knowledge gap both in the population and government on the need for financial inclusion and the ways to go about it. This is even more evident in regulators as their policies suggest a “trial and error” method of regulation, which is not backed by knowledge or research.

Why do you think Quona Capital in particular, and investment from capital markets in general, can create change in Africa?

Capital markets have always been more efficient at driving and sustaining long term change. To develop and sustain an innovative ecosystem, you need lots of capital for a long period of time — and this kind of investment can only be possible when significant returns are also possible. At Quona, we are not waiting for Africa to change, we are changing Africa by delivering capital and valuable connections to innovative founders and in doing so providing a good foundation for more investments to flow into Africa. I’m excited to work with Quona to deliver capital to companies and returns for our LPs!

Want to join Kofoworola in investing and working with fintech startups in emerging markets? Quona Capital is hiring! We are currently seeking:

Latin America Investment Associate

Platform and Cross-Border Investment Associate

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Quona Capital is a venture firm specializing in financial technology for inclusion in emerging markets. Learn more at quona.com.

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Quona Capital

Quona Capital is a venture firm specializing in financial technology for inclusion in emerging markets. Learn more at quona.com.