South African Fintech Firm Raises $52M Investment Led By Goldman Sachs, Targets Asian Expansion

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Written by Peter Pedroncelli

 

South African fintech firm Jumo has closed a $52 million funding round led by investment bank Goldman Sachs which will be used for expansion into more markets in Africa and Asia.

U.S.-based bank Goldman Sachs is a new investor for Jumo, leading the $52 million funding round in the South African firm, according to the company.

The funds will be dedicated towards accelerating expansion into additional Asian and African markets.

Others who participated in the funding round include Proparco, the private sector financing arm of the French Development Agency (AFD), Finnish development finance company Finnfund, Vostok Emerging Finance, London-based Gemcorp Capital, and LeapFrog Investments.

Along with Goldman Sachs, the funding round is a maiden investment into the South African fintech firm for Proparco and Finnfund.

South African fintech firm
Fintech firm Jumo has originated over $700 million in loans, many for small business owners. Photo – AP – Themba Hadebe

Jumo, the financial services platform for emerging markets, analyzes user data collected from mobile phones and networks to predict whether a person is able to repay a loan, offering tailored financial products based on that analysis.

Since launching in 2014, more than nine million people have used the Jumo platform, with around 70 percent of them being micro and small business owners, according to Ventureburn.

To date, Jumo has originated over $700 million in loans on its platform and manages over 25 million customer interactions per month.

In November last year the South African company secured a $24 million loan facility provided by Gemcorp Capital along with Finnfund, which contributed $6 million of the $24 million, according to ITWebAfrica.

The new round takes Jumo to $90 million raised from investors, according to Techcrunch.

South African fintech firm with expansion in mind

This latest investment in the company will see the South African fintech firm expand to include more markets across Asia and Africa.

In fact, company CEO Watkins-Ball has relocated to Singapore to support the company’s growth in Asia.

Jumo’s technology is currently used by many global telecommuncations and banking giants, including Africa’s largest mobile operator MTN, Airtel, South African bank FNB, and Telenor bank in Pakistan, according to BusinessInsider.

With offices in 10 countries, including a presence in South Africa, Tanzania, Kenya, Zambia, Singapore, and the U.K., Jumo was the first South African startup to be selected by Google for its Launchpad accelerator, reports ITNewsAfrica.

As a result a number of leaders within the company benefited from a two-week boot camp at Google’s headquarters in California between July 17 and 28 last year, with six months ongoing support and mentorship, as well as $50,000 in funding allocated to the startup.

In 2017 Jumo was the winner of the changing Africa award at the Appsafrica.com Innovation Awards 2017.

The awards celebrate the best in mobile and tech ventures from across Africa, with mobile apps that impact numerous industries and sectors awarded for their efforts.