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Funder’s focus on making social impact key in $24m deal says JUMO founder

South African fintech startup JUMO opted to go to Finnish development finance company Finnfund for debt funding, because the financier is “very ethical” and “focused on making meaningful social impact”, says the startup’s founder and CEO Andrew Watkins-Ball.

JUMO is a Mauritius-headquartered financial services platform that provides mobile financial services in emerging markets.

Last week the startup announced that it had secured $24-million in funding in a loan facility arranged by Gemcorp Capital, a London based investment management firm which already has an undisclosed equity stake in the startup. Finnfund participated in the round with $6-million.

The funding is to support Jumo’s expansion in Africa and Asia and the development of its platform in order to provide new services for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

The startup presently has over 300 employees (with most of them based in Cape Town) and operates in six markets in Africa as well as in Pakistan. In May Watkins-Ball told Ventureburn that the company  is looking at expanding into more countries.

The funding is to support JUMO’s expansion in Africa and Asia and the development of its platform in order to provide new services for SMEs

However, in a call today to Ventureburn he said that though the startup is “working on a couple of things at the moment”, he couldn’t reveal any details at present.

In addition, the company is busy closing an equity round and is likely to make an announcement on the deal by middle of next month, he added. He said the new round will help with expansion and assist the startup to support its bank partners.

The startup has been participating in the latest cohort of the Google Launchpad Accelerator and will next month take part in the graduation ceremony in Poland.

Read more: JUMO first SA startup to be selected for Google Launchpad Accelerator

Watkins-Ball said Google had been “incredibly generous” and given the startup perspective on solving some of its challenges — in areas such as data structures, platform architecture and HR management.

Earlier this month JUMO was awarded a $150 000 prize from the Mastercard Foundation for client satisfaction during the a financial inclusion summit in Accra, Ghana. Watkins-Ball said the startup is “happy” and “humbled” to accept the award.

Read more: SA startup JUMO awarded $150 000 prize by Mastercard Foundation for client help

“People are beginning to recognise the systemic benefit (to) communities of making it (an) easier and friendlier (process) to get (financial choices),” he said of the award.

Featured image: JUMO founder Andrew Watkins-Ball (Supplied)