Despite the fact that investing apps have made a big contribution to the democratization of the stock market, they sometimes operate in silos and only provide users access to exchanges in a single country.
Even internationally focused platforms like eToro only offer access to the most well-known exchanges and a limited number of others. To give a basic example, just 24 of the 118 companies listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange are available for trading on eToro.
Additionally, a lot of trading applications are only available in a single country because every brokerage is required to receive a license from the relevant regulator inside each country it operates.
Investment apps have fallen short of their promise to make investing in securities simple and available to everyone, especially for emerging economies where there are few cross-border opportunities.
Businesses like Bamboo, Chaka, and Trove have recently developed in Nigeria to allow users to trade and invest in international markets, primarily in U.S. equities and funds, but Trove also offers some Chinese companies, in an effort to address this issue.
This month, Bamboo entered Ghana, making it the first international brokerage app in west Africa.
Richmond Bassey, the CEO and co-founder of Bamboo, said that in addition to assisting Africans in investing outside of the continent, Bamboo would eventually aim to encourage international investment into Africa when the firm received a $15 million series A financing in January.
At the time, he stated, “We also want to make it simple for African investors in the diaspora to find the finest investment opportunities on the continent.”
Bringing together African Stock Markets
While Bamboo has not yet taken any action to make it possible to purchase non-American stocks on the platform, one Ghanaian FinTech is attempting to solve the problem of the continent’s fragmented capital markets by enabling anybody to invest in and trade on several African stock exchanges.