Fidelity, Visa and Kingsway back South African fintech JUMO in $ 120 million round – TechCrunch
JUMO, a South Africa and London-based company that provides financial services to entrepreneurs and businesses in emerging markets, has raised $ 120 million in a new round of funding led by Fidelity Management & Research Company.
The round, which marks Fidelity’s first investment in an African company, also saw participation from fintech giant Visa and London-based investment management firm Kingsway Capital. It also comes a year after raising $ 55 million in a similar unnamed fundraising round.
In total, JUMO has raised over $ 200 million in equity and debt from funders such as Brook Asset Management, Finnfund, Proparco, Leapfrog and Goldman Sachs since its founder and CEO. Andrew Watkins-Ball started the company in 2015.
FinTech, which bills itself as a banking platform as a service, says it is using AI to power financial services, especially lending in emerging markets where more than 1.7 billion people don’t. lack basic access to financial services, 42% of adults in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia are unbanked and only 11% of adults are covered by a credit bureau in Africa.
To meet these constraining needs in both markets, JUMO offers basic products around savings, credit to customers and businesses, as well as infrastructure to banks, fintechs and electronic money operators. Some partners include MTN, Airtel, Tigo, Ecobank, Absa, Letshego, Mansa Bank and Telenor.
When JUMO raised its $ 52 million in 2018, it opened an office in Singapore to enter Asia, but the company appears to have closed shop there based on the information in its statement. At present, fintech only lists Cape Town, Nairobi, Porto and London as its main operational and technological centers.
In terms of active operational markets, however, fintech is present in six African markets: Ghana, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Zambia, Ivory Coast and Pakistan, countries in South Asia.
So far, JUMO has provided loans worth over $ 3.5 billion to over 18 million customers in these markets, providing up to 120 million individual loans.
Based on the current number of e-money subscribers on its platform with access to loans, JUMO claims it has the potential to disburse $ 29 billion per year. The company adds that that number can reach $ 40 billion when it expands to Nigeria and Cameroon in 2022.
The company’s operational costs also reinforce this claim. JUMO claims to have reduced its costs to $ 1 / customer per year, which gives it a certain advantage to operate effectively in a total addressable market of 150 million customers.
Fidelity’s participation in the JUMO cycle continues a growing list of first-time US investors who have carried out their first checks in African tech, particularly fintech. I am thinking of Avenir Growth Capital’s turn as co-leader in Flutterwave and SoftBank’s support for Opay.
“It’s exciting to be a part of the wave of American capital being invested in payments and fintech on the continent – there are great companies being built and we are proud to play a role in helping providers of capital. to reach customers with great products, âWatkins said. -Ball in a statement.
The founder says JUMO strives to make it easier for capital providers to reach new customers at affordable prices. The six-year-old company also wants to help banks generate ‘predictable returns’ by providing a full range of infrastructure and services from basic banking and underwriting to KYC (know your client ) and fraud detection services.
Since 2019, the total bank capital and assets under management deployed on the JUMO platform has increased to 160%, demonstrating the importance of the platform for these financial institutions.
Besides expanding to Nigeria and Cameroon, JUMO said it will use the investment to improve and increase the number of financial products it offers to small and medium-sized businesses. It also plans to provide longer term loan options to traders and large businesses.
âJUMO’s lending platform is very attractive in its ability to expand into all markets and foster financial inclusion by creating access to credit for consumers and small businesses,â said Melissa McSherry, Global Head of Risk and Identity Management Services at Visa in a statement. âWe are delighted with our investment in JUMO and look forward to accelerating the adoption of the JUMO platform in all markets and fulfilling Visa’s mission to help individuals, businesses and economies thrive. “