Investments

African Financial Startup JUMO Notches $55M

African Financial Startup JUMO Notches $55M

FinTech upstart JUMO has notched $55 million in equity and debt funding. The newest investment round had participation from current investors, with the inclusion of Odey Asset Management, Leapfrog Investments and Goldman Sachs, in addition to new undisclosed investors, Quartz reported.

Andrew Watkins-Ball, the South African founder of JUMO, noted that the “next phase” of the firm will have it create new offerings and bring its business to Côte d’Ivoire and Nigeria in 2020. The company already operates in Pakistan and plans to roll out in India later this year.

JUMO currently has operations in Kenya, Ghana, Uganda, Zambia and Tanzania, where it works with telecoms and financial services firms to provide savings, lending and insurance services. The firm claims to have disbursed $1.8 billion in loans and to have helped 15 million clients since its launch.

The funding occurred in a climate of strong interest in the potential of FinTech upstarts in Africa. PalmPay and OPay, in two cases, notched more than $210 million in funding during a five-month period in 2019, mostly from investors in China.

This latest investment brings JUMO’s total amount raised to almost $150 million, and comes after two large 2018 rounds when the firm took in $64.5 million.

JUMO first rolled out in Tanzania, with an interest in offering up what it calls “social impact financial products” for clients. Specifically, the FinTech offers customers microloans, insurance products and access to savings (in collaboration with banks).

The challenge in linking consumers to services in still-developing nations is that there is an asynchrony between what is profitable and productive for banks to offer when it comes to financial products and the needs of clients and small businesses in developing nations. Watkins-Ball said in December of 2018 that “it is a very tough play yard to work in.”

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