Joel Macharia is a serial entrepreneur who hails from Kerugoya, Kenya. His story is fascinating because he rose from been in debt to becoming the Founder of a company with over 3,000.
At a tender age, 12, he developed an interest in finance and got fascinated with banking. Part of his inspiration was from the phrase “Other People’s Money” used by an uncle in the sector back at high school. He studied stock market as part of his commerce studies. By 19, he was already taking care of other people’s money. Joel was running banking technology projects at 22 and teaching finance at 23.
He managed money for people and invested on their behalf for about three years before eventually facing a crisis.
Joel Macharia And The Rough Road To Abacus
As a result of Kenya’s violent general elections back in 2007, he experienced a major business setback. This was because of the stock market being affected by the election preceding. The stock market dropped drastically, forcing his clients to withdraw their investments and leaving him in debt. This made his business to collapse in 2008, he was only 22 then. As a result, he was forced to taking a job as a product designer.
Due to his love for entrepreneurship, Macharia returned to investing and personal finance planning and built PesaTalk. He had a disagreement with the venture capitalists in 2012 and he had to use the exit door leaving the largest consumer business news site in Kenya. In 2014, he Founded Abacus.
Abacus is Kenya’s only online multi-asset class brokerage. The service enables both local and global investors to invest in Kenyan stocks, government bonds and unit trusts under a single investment account. Abacus proposes to grant access to Africa’s major markets under one account in three years time. It has grown to having over 3,000 investors providing real time data and news, research, analysis and insights, technology driven advisory and community forums with investing leaderboards where you can see, copy or follow other investors activity. Abacus also allows local and global investors invest in equities, real estate and unlisted securities in Kenya.
Joel Macharia was picked as one of Business Daily’s Top 40 under 40 Men in 2012 and one of Forbes Africa’s Top 30 under 30 in 2016.