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South Africa’s mobile startup space just got more exciting.
Mobile industry superstar and trained nuclear scientist Hannes van Rensburg has joined the board of the fast-growing mobile startup, Nomanini, as advisor.
Van Rensburg’s reputation skyrocketed when he exited mobile financial services company Fundamo for a massive US$110-million to Visa in 2011. The entrepreneur went on to claim awards recognising him as one of the world’s top 100 most influential players three years in a row.
After working as senior VP at Visa and starting an earl-stage investment firm called Piorex, van Rensburg has been on sabbatical over the past couple of years.
Co-founded by Vahid Monadjem in 2010, Nomanini has also been busy building a reputation of its own. Setting South Africa’s informal, cash-prone markets the fintech company is behind a mobile Point of Sales device, which can be used for buying prepaid products like airtime, electricity and so on.
Monadjem points out the similarities between Fundamo’s mobile financial service platforms — which has been deployed in more than 34 countries across Africa, Asia and the Middle East — and Nomanini’s.
Nomanini, being in the payments in emerging markets space, is in markets tangential to Fundamo’s. Hannes has experience in scaling an innovative organisation and expanding its client base across dozens of countries. He is wonderfully candid about what worked and also what didn’t. His experience and forthrightness, combined with shared values to serve underserved markets, makes him a great addition to our team.
“As online financial transacting is picking up, and more and more people are using mobile to transact, there is a clear niche of participants in this payment ecosystem serving the mid-sized retailer,” van Rensburg said in a press release made out to Ventureburn.
Over the last few years, Nomanini has enjoyed a total of over US$2.5-million in investments and is currently active in a handful of countries across Africa. With the added vision and expertise of van Rensburg, Nomanini would surely be able to enter new markets and establish itself further in those it’s already present in.
“Nomanini’s technology and expertise means it has the capability to play a very important role. There is a very clear focus in terms of where the product will have an impact, which is important,” van Rensburg added. “Too many players try to be everything to everybody, and end up failing on all counts. Nomanini has a very clear vision.”