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The recent JUMO funding round comes amid increased interest from US investment and financial institutions in African fintech.
JUMO announced it recently raised $120 million in a new funding round spearheaded by Fidelity Management & Research Company, the first Fidelity investment in an African company. Other investor participants were Visa (NYSE: V) and Kingsway Capital, a London-based investment management firm.
The round comes a year after JUMO generated about $55 million in a similar funding round. Furthermore, the mobile financial services platform for mobile network operators and banks, has now raised over $200 million since its inception in 2015. The total generate capital generated is in part equity and part debt rounds. JUMO’s backers include Brook Asset Management, Finnfund, Proparco, Leapfrog, and Goldman Sachs.
Founded by current CEO Andrew Watkins-Ball, JUMO provides a full tech stack for partners in emerging markets. Watkins-Ball expressed optimism at Fidelity’s participation in the investment round. This happens to be one of the latest in an increasing list of first-time US investors pumping capital into African fintech companies. According to him:
“It’s exciting to be part of the wave of US capital being invested in payments and fintech on the continent – there are some great businesses being built and we are proud to play a role supporting capital providers to reach customers with great products”.
The JUMO Future After Funding
Part of the JUMO value proposition and service lineup includes building savings, lending, and insurance products for customers in emerging markets. JUMO also states that it deploys AI in facilitating most of its financial services, especially lending in emerging markets. This is because more than 1.7 billion people lack access to basic financial services. In addition, up to 42% of adults in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia do not have nor operate bank accounts. Plus, credit bureau coverage in Africa accounts for only 11% of adults.
JUMO’s infrastructure provision to banks, eMoney operators, and fintechs in addition to specialized core products helps negate some of the aforementioned constraints. So far, the startup has granted 120 million loans worth over $3.5 billion to over 18 million customers in several markets. Going by the number of eMoney subscribers on its platforms, JUMO reveals it can disburse up to $29 billion annually. The fintech firm also added that the total sum could reach $40 billion upon expansion to Nigeria and Cameroon.
JUMO has a market presence in six African countries: Ghana, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Zambia, and Ivory Coast. In addition, the fintech firm also has an active operational market in Pakistan. However, JUMO primarily operates and maintains tech hubs in the cities of Nairobi, London, Porto, and Cape Town. After its inaugural $52-million fundraise in 2018, JUMO established an office in Singapore to penetrate the Asian market. However, the company’s statement suggests that it no longer operates the branch there. JUMO is also in partnerships with a host of mobile telecom operators and financial institutions. These include MTN, Airtel, Tigo, Ecobank, Absa, Letshego, Mansa Bank, and Telenor.