The founders of South African cryptocurrency investment platform Africrypt have disappeared along with $3.6 billion (R51.4 billion) worth of Bitcoin, according to a report….
In a further sign that fintech startup JUMO will again be a company to watch in 2019, the Mauritius-registered mobile financial services platform earlier this month announced it had clinched a further $12.5-million in an investment from UK based Odey Asset Management.
The announcement was made on 13 December.
The investment is in addition to a $52-million equity funding round that startup — founded by South African Andrew Watkins-Ball (pictured above) in 2014 — closed in September this year — bringing the total it has raised in funding this year to a whopping $64.5-million.
The earlier $52 million round was concluded with Goldman Sachs as the principal lead investor alongside the French Development Agency’s Proparco, Finnfund, Vostok Emerging Finance, Gemcorp Capital and LeapFrog Investments.
Fintech JUMO earlier this month announced it had clinched a further $12.5-million in investment this year, from UK based Odey Asset Management
That deal was perhaps the largest secured by an African startup this year — going on data on 48 disclosed deals reported by Ventureburn in 2018 — in which over $178-million was raised by African startups.
In an earlier statement announcing the deal, the startup also revealed that James Hanbury, a partner at Odey Asset Management (who described JUMO’s platform as a “force for good” which has contributed to greater financial inclusion), will join JUMO’s board.
JUMO said in the same statement that the additional investment will be used to further develop its technology platform, support market expansion and deepen data capabilities, specifically in applied machine learning to accelerate financial inclusion.
JUMO’s Watkins-Ball said the closing of the startup’s latest funding round is “a fantastic endorsement” of JUMO’s track record in developing inclusive financial infrastructure.
“We have a proven business model, evidenced in the strategic partnerships we have built with forward-thinking banks, mobile money operators and partners like Uber,” said Watkins-Ball.
JUMO currently has offices in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ghana, Zambia, Pakistan, the UK, Singapore and South Africa.
It set up its Asia Pacific headquarters in Singapore earlier in the year and has plans to enter several new Asian markets in 2019.
$103m raised since inception
Following the close of the funding round, JUMO has raised in excess of $103-million, since it launched in 2014. In addition, more than 10 million people have saved or borrowed on the JUMO platform, with nearly 70% of these being micro and small business owners across Africa and Asia.
The firm said that to date it has originated almost $1-billion in loans and maintained savings growth of over 50% month-on-month on its platform, which it claims handles over 45 million customer interactions per month.
Furthermore, JUMO claims that through its existing partnerships, nearly 120 million mobile users are currently able to connect to its platform.
New Uber partnership
Earlier this month JUMO announced a partnership with Uber through its JUMO Drive product, a digital vehicle finance product that the startup claims eases barriers to car ownership for existing Uber driver-partners.
The startup says it plans to expand this offering to other ride-hailing firms across Sub-Saharan Africa and beyond, demonstrating the agility of its platform to activate underserved segments of the economy and to improve their access to income-generating assets.
In October, the company was also a new entrant in the 2018 CB Insights Fintech 250 list which tracks the most promising financial technology companies globally.
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Featured image: JUMO founder Andrew Watkins-Ball (Supplied)