African fintech company JUMO raises US$24m for expansion


African fintech company JUMO has secured a US$24 million loan facility in order to expand operations in Africa and Asia.

The Cape Town-based JUMO, which has so far served over five million people in seven countries since launching in 2014, uses behavioural data from mobile usage to create financial identities for users.

Users, many of whom have previously been disconnected from traditional financial services, are then able to access services such as loans and savings via their mobile phones, while JUMO partnering with major mobile network operators and financial service providers to deliver these.

The company is now set for further expansion across Africa and Asia - as well as further development of its platform to provide new services to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) - after securing a US$24 million loan facility arranged by Gemcorp Capital, an independent emerging markets investment management firm based in London and an early investor in JUMO.

Finnish development finance company Finnfund contributed US$6 million of the facility, with Managing Director Jaakko Kangasniemi saying the company was proud to be a supporter of JUMO.

"Financial inclusion is very important for development; people need to be able to access quality financial services. It gives them security, enables them to plan their lives more effectively and often gives them an opportunity to start or grow their own business and improve their livelihoods," he said.

JUMO founder and CEO Andrew Watkins-Ball said Finnfund would bring a sharp focus to achieving meaningful social impact with sustainable profit.

"That aligns well with our mission. Having proven our model, we are now expanding our footprint to reach millions more people who are excluded from the formal financial system. With Finnfund we have an investor who supports our view that inequality is unacceptable," he said.

JUMO developed its model through extensive ground work in financial services in Africa, launching the first mobile product in 2014 and has granted more than 20 million loans.

Currently, the company employs over 300 people, who are mostly based in South Africa. Its markets are Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Kenya, Rwanda, Ghana and Pakistan.