South Africa- and London-based company that provides financial services to businesses in addition to entrepreneurs notably in emerging markets – Jumo is reportedly braced with new funding round. However, it comes as the subject company Jumo raises $120 million led by Fidelity Management & Research Company according to the company’s announcement.
The latest round that was led by Fidelity is understood to be Fidelity’s first investment in an African company, equally a funding round that also saw the participation of London-based investment management firm Kingsway Capital coupled with fintech giant Visa. Equally, the current round of funding is coming a year after the subject startup raised $55 million in one of its recent financing round.
This brings the company’s total fundraise to over $200 million since it was launched in 2015 by the founder and CEO ‘Andrew Watkins-Ball’, which meant in equity and debt rounds from backers like Brook Asset Management, Proparco, Finnfund, Goldman Sachs, and not to exclude Leapfrog.
According to analysts, it’s been figured that over 1.7 billion people precisely in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia still lack basic access to financial service, 42% of adults in these regions remain unbanked while 11% of adults are known to be under credit bureau coverage in Africa. Therefore, to meet these challenging needs in these markets, the subject fintech which believes it’s a banking-as-a-service platform is offering core products around savings, credit to customers and businesses in addition to infrastructure to banks, fintechs, and eMoney operators.
Jumo’s partners currently include Airtel, MTN, Ecobank, Absa, Letshego, Tigo, Mansa Bank, and Telenor. And not only that the subject fintech has its headquarter in Cape Town, but also has offices in Porto, London, and Nairobi. Though, the company had previously opened an office in Singapore as part of its expansion to Asia’s market but closed it based on information from its statement.
Yet, prior to Jumo raising the subject funds, the company’s product is understood to be present and active in a number of markets, namely Tanzania, Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, Zambia, Ivory Coast, and South Asian country Pakistan.
In the meantime, the company said it has served loans worth more than $3.5 billion to over 18 million customers across the aforementioned markets, noting that 120 million individual loans have been granted.
To this end, the company has its operating costs lowered to $1 per customer, which serves as an edge to scale efficiently across notable markets that constitute 150 million customers.
Moreover, based on the current number of eMoney subscribers on the subject platform with access to loans, the company made clear it has an opportunity to disburse $29 billion per year. Noting that the figures could grow to $40 billion precisely when it expands to Cameroon and Africa’s most populous and economic country – Nigeria in 2022.
As the list of first-time U.S. investors continues to grow, Fidelity participation is understood to be a notable one, in view of this Watkins-Ball said in a statement, according to a source familiar with the matter.
“It’s exciting to be part of the wave of U.S. capital being invested in payments and fintech on the continent – there are some great businesses being built and we are proud to play a role supporting capital providers to reach customers with great products”.
Equally, as the company continues to seek better ways that will help banks make “predictable returns” with a full range of infrastructure and services from key banking to underwriting, fraud detection services as well as know your customer are factored in as part of its strategies.
Meanwhile, the company plans to use the latest fundraise to improve and increase the number of financial products it currently offers to small and medium scale businesses, in addition to long-term lending options for merchants and larger businesses. Hence, the Global Head of Risk and Identity Services at Visa ‘Melissa McSherry’ said:
“JUMO’s lending platform is highly attractive in its ability to scale across markets and drive financial inclusion by creating access to credit for consumers and small businesses”. Adding that, “We are excited about our investment in JUMO and are looking forward to accelerating adoption of JUMO’s platform across markets and delivering on Visa’s mission of helping individuals, and economies to thrive”.
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