Fidelity, Visa and Kingsway back South African fintech JUMO in $ 120 million round – TechCrunch


JUMO, a London and South Africa-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 featured participation from fintech giant Visa and London-based investment management firm Kingsway Capital. It will also come a year later raising $ 55 million in a round of no-name funding.

In total, JUMO has raised more than $ 200 million in equity and debt rounds from backers such as Brook Asset Management, Finnfund, Proparco, Leapfrog, and Goldman Sachs since founder and CEO Andrew Watkins-Ball launched the company in 2015.

The fintech, which refers to itself as a banking-as-a-service platform, says it uses AI to power financial services, particularly lending in emerging markets.

More than 1.7 billion people do not have basic access to financial services, 42% of adults in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia do not have access to banking services, while only 11% of adults are covered by credit bureaus in Africa . To meet these restrictive needs in both markets, JUMO offers core products around savings, credit to clients and businesses, and infrastructure to banks, fintechs and eMoney operators.

These partners include MTN, Airtel, Tigo, Ecobank, Absa, Letshego, Mansa Bank, and Telenor.

In addition to its headquarters in Cape Town, JUMO has offices in Nairobi, Porto and London.

When JUMO went up it’s $ 52 million In 2018, he opened an office in Singapore to enter Asia, but the company appears to have closed there based on information in his statement. Currently, the fintech declares Cape Town, Nairobi, Porto and London as its main operational and technological centers.

However, in terms of active markets for operations, financial technology is present in six African markets: Ghana, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Zambia, Ivory Coast and Pakistan, a country in South Asia.

So far, JUMO has made loans worth more than $ 3.5 billion to more than 18 million customers in these markets, with 120 million individual loans made.

The South African fintech claims to have lowered operating costs to $ 1 per customer, giving it some head start to efficiently scale into a total accessible market of 150 million customers.

And based on the current number of eMoney subscribers on its platform with access to loans, JUMO says it has the opportunity to shell out $ 29 billion a year. The company adds that this number may grow to $ 40 billion when it expands to Nigeria and Cameroon in 2022.

Fidelity’s participation in the JUMO round continues with a growing list of first-time US investors who have made their first checks on African tech, especially fintech, where Avenir Growth Capital’s co-lead round comes to mind. on Flutterwave and SoftBank’s endorsement of Opay.

“It is exciting to be part of the wave of American capital that is invested in payments and fintech on the continent, great companies are being created and we are proud to play a role in supporting providers of capital to reach customers with excellent products, “Watkins said. -Bola in a statement.

The founder says that JUMO is focused on making it easy for providers of capital to reach new clients at affordable prices. The six-year-old company also wants to help banks achieve “predictable returns” by providing a full range of infrastructure and services from central banking to underwriting, KYC (know your customer) and fraud detection services.

As of 2019, the capital and total bank assets under management deployed on the JUMO platform has increased to 160%, signifying the importance of the platform for these financial institutions.

In addition to expanding to Nigeria and Cameroon, JUMO says 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 for larger businesses and merchants.

“The JUMO lending platform is highly attractive for its ability to scale across markets and drive financial inclusion by creating access to credit for consumers and small businesses,” said Melissa McSherry, Global Head of Risk and Identity Services at Visa in a statement. “We are excited about 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 people, businesses and economies prosper.”


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