The Ladda Project
Based on economic psychology, people tend to save or invest their money to secure their future as well as to help act as a buffer in worst-case scenarios in the face of political uncertainty, income uncertainty or economic uncertainty. When the economy is doing well and people feel safe, they do not necessarily feel the need to set aside a nest egg in anticipation of the future. Therefore, it is understandable that Gross Savings Rates in African countries, as well as the US and UK, have increased between 2019 and 2020.
Prior to the last 5 -10 years, investments for the everyday man was a tedious process of finding a broker, having a certain amount of investment capital, filling out lengthy forms and non-transparency of process. We were not very privy to the highs and lows (volatility) of our savings and investments or even the commissions charged to us on execution. Fast-forward a few years with uncertainties on the rise, demand for financial freedom utilizing savings and investment products has been on the increase as well, which has led to innovations and disruptions in the financial technology sector in Nigeria and globally.
Some startups offer niche products geared towards either savings or local investments, others have pivoted to combine both into one product offering. Furthermore, other startups are attempting to add even more value by providing a product that is all-encompassing which goes further to offer consumers the option of investing in foreign stocks and mutual funds fractionally. This means that you can own shares in an international company of your choice such as Tesla or Amazon with whatever amount you have at your disposal starting from as low as $10 which is approximately N4,500, without the stress of searching for an international broker.
This is great news to the millions of people in Nigeria who hope to have stakes in international companies without having to worry or wait for massive investment capital which could potentially have a negative effect on their purchasing power due to economic factors such as inflation or exchange rates - the people who are hopeful that there will be a light at the end of the tunnel for them after the tough times that we are presently challenged with, the people who have faith that they can build wealth amidst a global and local economy on the downturn, high unemployment rates, and political uncertainty. This is why we were excited about the opportunity to collaborate with the Money Africa team to build Ladda, a one-stop-app for investments in mutual funds, stocks (global and local), and savings with a promise to help Nigerians build wealth.
Product Process Summary
The process started from requirements gathering which was followed by product research using a bench-marking methodology and design. Product development included integrations with 3rd party partners, payment providers, etc.
We relied on NodeJS to build the system’s core functionalities, we use MySQL as our data store and chose Redis for both caching and messaging queue. The entire platform is hosted on Amazon’s AWS.
At Alta Labs, we strongly believe in the upsides of employing agile methodology and continuous iterative development and testing. With the Ladda project, this was no different- we built, iterated continuously, tested, had a soft launch, iterated, and tested some more.
Product Core Features
The core features of the Ladda product are:
- Stocks - With the Ladda product, users can invest in global and local stocks fully or fractionally based on the investor’s buying power.
- Mutual Funds - Users are able to invest in mutual funds
- Savings - Providing users with the opportunity to create target savings
- Gift Cards - Gift cards, Ladda believes in financial empowerment, so giving people Ladda gift cards to set them on their way to financial prosperity was the major motivation for building a gift card functionality. Gift cards are denominated in both Naira and Dollars.
The Ladda gift card is a closed-loop gift card, which means it can only be spent on the Ladda platform, unlike an open-loop gift card like Visa. In the US alone, about $3 billion gift cards go unspent annually, which is why Ladda will remind you to spend your gift card 30 days to the card expiry period. The Ladda gift card has an expiry duration of 1 year.
By: Celestine Omin
Watching ideas grow from a pitch and a set of requirements to a finished product is a feeling that never gets old. I can confirm that the thrill of building new things never really fades if anything, it creates a hunger for even more win. Our most recent project - Ladda - a fintech product for Money Africa is a win that we’re particularly proud of because it gave us an opportunity to touch the different sphere of fintech that we wouldn’t on our own, have ventured. At the end of this project, the team now has a good knowledge of how investments across the stock market, mutual funds, and savings generally work.
Alta Labs’ core premise is to be the engineering engine room for fast-growing technology companies across Africa. We are motivated by the fact that when our clients’ end-users are happy, our clients, in turn, are happy and this is a major win for us all. We believe in the symbiotic nature of our client relationships, thus, our clients’ success is our success.
In the next few months, we hope to see Ladda becomes a household name in the Nigerian investment community.
What We Delivered:
The Alta Labs team delivered a suite of products to the Money Africa team
- An Android mobile app
- An iOS mobile app
- A web version of the Ladda product that is fully optimized for mobile devices.
- A back-office system
- A business intelligence tool.