SA Fintech Startup JUMO Bags Additional USD 12.5 Mn To Fund Asia Expansion
In what has largely been an eventful year for the company, South African fintech startup, JUMO, has roped in yet another investment worth USD 12.5 Mn from Odey Asset Management; a UK-based investment fund.
This development is coming barely three months after the startup raised USD 52 Mn in equity investment in a funding round led by Goldman Sachs, alongside Proparco; the private sector financing arm of the French Development Agency (AFD), Finnfund, LeapFrog Investments, Gemcorp Capital, and Vostok Emerging Finance.
The latest investment can be considered an extension to that funding round that was closed back in September (bringing the total fund raised in the round to nearly USD 65 Mn), and with the injection of these fresh funds, the company is believed to have now raised funding in excess of USD 103 Mn from external investors since its inception. In April this year, the company also bagged USD 3 Mn in equity investment from Proparco.
The South African fintech startup, which recently set up its Asia Pacific base in Singapore, is believed to have expansion into other parts of Asia Pacific at the top of the list of efforts that this latest investment will be channeled into.
Launched in 2014, JUMO leverages mobile networks to provide social impact financial products such as microloans, savings, and insurance. The startup is known to have developed a credit-scoring algorithm which helps customers to unlock the value of their digital footprints by giving an accurate estimation of their creditworthiness.
JUMO bundles products from various banks and sells it to businesses that are on the lookout for credit. The entire process of lending is facilitated through mobile networks, where the startup has linked up with a number of service providers.
Since its establishment, the growing company claims to have served more than 9 million customers with nearly 70% of these being micro and small business owners.
As culled from an official statement released by the company, JUMO have disbursed over USD 1 Bn in loans since launching operations, while seeing borrowers on its platform rise to 10 million people (from a previous 9 million) since it ventured into Asia. JUMO currently boasts a roster of 350 employees working from up to 10 offices spread out across parts of Africa, Asia, and Europe.
The South African fintech startup also claims to have seen the number of financial service providers and telcos on its platform increase significantly over the past year.
One notable example of one of such arrangements that are currently in effect can be cited in the company’s digital finance product for Kenyan Uber drivers. And it is not that difficult to see a collaboration of that nature being extended to other parts of Africa and beyond.
Expansion into a number of other Asian markets appears to be a priority of the company at this juncture but not much is known about which markets will specifically be targeted next by JUMO in the coming months.
According to the statement, the additional investment will be used to further develop JUMO’s technology platform, support market expansion and deepen data capabilities – specifically in applied ML and AI innovation – to accelerate financial inclusion across JUMO’s key markets in Africa and Asia.
Feature Image courtesy: cfo.co.za