South African FinTech company JUMO will participate in the sophomore session of Google's Launchpad Studio, with the company's chief analytics officer Paul Whelpton leading the team in a program to develop AI and machine learning (ML) solutions.
According to information supplied, Launchpad Studio was established in 2017 and is a fully-tailored product development acceleration program that gives selected start-ups "the unique opportunity to work hand-in-hand with Google's artificial intelligence (AI) and machine-learning (ML) research and development teams, with access to seasoned experts and mentors from Google and Silicon Valley."
Andrew Watkins-Ball, JUMO founder and CEO said, "We are honoured to have the opportunity to collaborate with some of the leading minds in AI and ML to accelerate the extension of financial services to the billions of un(der)-served people in the world. We're at a critical point in our business where we are focused on leveraging the latest technology to increase customer eligibility and decrease unequal access to quality financial products in emerging markets."
JUMO's tech platform makes formal banking products available to underserved emerging market customers in realtime, via mobile phones.
According to the company, since launching in November 2014, it serves over 10 million customers across seven African and Asian markets, and disburses over US$1-billion in funds to mainly small and micro business owners.
In December 2018, the company announced that it had taken its total raised funding to US$103-million, inclusive of additional investment of US$12.5-million from the London-based investment firm Odey Asset Management to increase the value of that funding round to more than US$65-million, along with US$52-million funding raised in September 2018.
This is the second Google program that JUMO has been selected to participate in and follows the company's participation in the 2017 Google Launchpad Accelerator, aimed at growth stage tech startups from emerging ecosystems.
JUMO will join other companies from nine countries and four continents, including Indonesia's billion-dollar unicorn startup Go-Jek and Starling Bank - a UK based mobile-only bank, that are focused on leveraging technology to promote financial inclusion.