Money and Markets

Goldman Sachs and others just invested R760 million in a South African startup that helps poor people get loans

Business Insider SA
Jumo CEO and founder Andrew Watkins-Ball (Twitter, @JUMO_WORLD)
  • A South African fintech startup just landed $52 million, or around R760 million in funding led by Goldman Sachs.
  • Jumo gives individuals and small businesses with limited credit information access to savings and credit.
  • Jumo, plans on using the funding to expand beyond the 10 countries it already operates in.. 

Cape Town-headquartered fintech startup Jumo has landed $52 million, or roughly R766 million, in a funding round led by prominent US investment bank Goldman Sachs, the company said on Tuesday.

Jumo helps individuals and small businesses with limited credit information access credit through their cell phones. It has now attracted a total $90 million (R1.3 billion) in funding since it launched in 2014.

Jumo CEO Andrew Watkins-Ball said the funds will be used to help with the growth and rapid expansion of the company into new markets. 

Jumo already operates in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Ghana, Zambia, South Africa, Singapore, Pakistan and the UK. 

“We are proving that the evolution of computation and storage means that there is no longer any reason why the best financial products should not be available to people in the early stages of building wealth,” Watkins-Ball said in a statement. 

Other funders include Proparco, the private sector financing arm of the French Development Agency (AFD), Finnfund, Vostok Emerging Finance, Gemcorp Capital, and LeapFrog Investments. 

READ: This is the one question a top SA venture capitalist asks startups before she invests

Since its launch, Jumo said, it has helped nine million people save or borrow, facilitated over $70 million in loans, and manages over 25 million customer interactions per month.

Its technology is used by, among others, MTN, Airtel, FNB, and Pakistan’s Telenor bank. 

Goldman Sachs said Jumo has an “immense opportunity” to connect previously unserviced individuals to credit. 

“[Jumo] successful track record developing digital marketplace infrastructure to offer mobile subscribers access to relevant financial products,” Goldman Sachs executive director Jules Frebault said in a statement.  

“We are excited to partner with this highly capable team as they continue to leverage technology to advance financial inclusion.”

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