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Zoona; a financial services company that uses technology to empower entrepreneurs to provide digital financial service products, has secured investment of an undisclosed amount from a US-based investment firm, Rippleworks.
Founded in Zambia back in 2009, Zoona specializes in using technology to empower entrepreneurs to provide digital financial service products such as mobile wallets, international money transfers, savings and credit facilities, as well as bill payments to underserved communities.
Zoona is believed to combine entrepreneurship and technology with a view to delivering essential financial services to areas of most need. As per the press release sent to us, since inception, the company now boasts over 3 million customers, while also laying claim to over USD 2.5 Bn in the value of transactions processed via its platform. The company also claims to have created over 3,500 jobs since it became operational.
The key player in this funding round, Rippleworks, is a US-based foundation that is known to support high-growth social ventures globally. Rippleworks is said to have set its sights on providing rapidly-growing social ventures around the world with the capital and operational support they need to scale their business and impact.
The investment firm which came into existence in 2009, is believed to partner high-growth social ventures around the world with leading startup expertise from Silicon Valley and the larger U.S. tech sector. Rippleworks is known to manage short-term, high-impact projects where ventures are able to tackle their top operational challenges to growth while developing new skills.
The company also claims to have worked on 70 projects with social ventures across 55 countries, empowering entrepreneurial teams that are improving the lives of more than 250 million people. And the latest investment into Zoona might be suggestive of an identical move.
“Rippleworks has supported Zoona for the past three years, and we’ve seen up-close the impact Zoona has for millions of people who need access to critical financial services. We are inspired by Zoona’s potential to reach even more people in Zambia, Malawi, and beyond,” commented a representative of Rippleworks with regards to the development.
As was covered in an earlier publication by WeeTracker, Zoona had two top women executives join its board in May this year. The startup debuted in the Zambian market but it has gone on to expand into Malawi and Mozambique, while also setting up support offices in South Africa.
“I couldn’t be more thrilled to bring in Rippleworks as an investor,” said Mike Quinn, CEO of Zoona Group. “Rippleworks has been a strong partner for us already in helping us solve key operational challenges through their short-term projects. Their continued support will help us multiply our impact many times over.”
With the company’s pedigree and the successes it has recorded thus far, Zoona could be considered something of an attractive prospect for investors, as well as a formidable pan-African competitor to the likes of M-Pesa.
Since its launch, Zoona is believed to have raised over USD 25 Mn in international investment, and some of their investors include the International Finance Corporation, Quona Capital, Omidyar Network, the Lundin Foundation, and 4Di Capital. And the latest investment from Rippleworks could be thought of as yet another feather added to its decorated hat. The latest injection of capital is expected to go some way towards fuelling the startup’s growth and expansion plans.
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