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Standard Bank leads $4m investment round in SA fintech Nomanini [Updated]


UPDATE (27 August 2019): We neglected to mention in the initial version of this story that Dutch impact investor Goodwell Investments also participated in the $4-million round. The story has been amended to reflect this.

SA fintech company Nomanini has netted $4-million (about R61-million) in an investment round led by Standard Bank, with participation from Amsterdam-based investment firm Goodwell Investments, the Cape Town based fintech company announced today.

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Both investors have taken an undisclosed stake in the company.

Nomanini, which was founded in 2010 by Vahid Monadjem (pictured above) who serves as the company’s CEO, connects informal merchants with distributors via an e-wallet and physical device. Merchants can use the same device to offer basic banking services to their communities.

The fintech company said in a statement today that by investing in the company, Standard Bank will be able to use Nomanini’s platform to collect data on the informal retail economy.

Standard Bank has invested $4m in return for an undisclosed stake in Nomanini

This will allow the bank to offer a mobile application which provides access to new lines of business, credit and savings services for millions of informal merchants across the continent, the fintech said.

“Transaction data analysis via Nomanini’s platform means that micro-merchants’ creditworthiness can be more accurately assessed and, as a result, many will become eligible for working capital loans for the first time.

“For the merchants using this service, this means a boost to ongoing trade, increased return customers and the sale of additional goods and services,” the fintech said.

14 African countries by 2021

Nomanini aims to roll the service out across 14 African countries by early 2021 — including in South Africa, Zambia, Mozambique, Malawi, Angola, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania, eSwatini and Lesotho.

Nomanini head of communications Kim Humby explained that the 14 countries fall in Standard Bank’s African footprint.

In an article earlier today SA financial publication Moneyweb quoted Adrian Vermooten, Standard Bank’s head of digital in Africa regions, who said by using Nomanini technology, Standard Bank will be able to collect for example data on pre-paid airtime, which would enable the bank to build up a financial profile on each retailer.

Monadjem, who is a trained engineer and former McKinsey & Company’s global fellow for Emerging Market Product Development, is quoted in the same report as saying that Nomanini is open to partnerships with other banks elsewhere, but that its partnership with Standard Bank will keep the fintech company busy for very long time.

$1.1m raised previously

According to Crunchbase figures, the fintech previously raised a total of $1.1-million in funding over three rounds.

It’s unclear whether this figure is accurate, as the amount in investment was not disclosed by any of the parties in the last two of these three rounds.

The company’s latest investment follows their last funding round in 2015, when the company raised an undisclosed amount from Goodwell Investments (see this story).

In 2014 it raised an undisclosed amount in Series-B funding from Seychelles-based investment company Rockbridge Investments Limited (see this story) — after Netherlands based eVentures Africa Fund and angel investor Esther Dyson in 2012 invested $600 000 in the company (see this story).

Nomanini’s Humby told Ventureburn in an email today that the fintech has 17 employees and recently opened offices in Johannesburg and Lusaka.

She said Cape Town is the company’s product and development centre, while Johannesburg hosts its commercial, operations and finance teams. Lusaka has a small regional sales team, she added.

Humby said despite a decision to launch the product first in East Africa, the company is “not specifically” targeting East Africa.

Read more: SA payments platform Nomanini selected as MIT awards finalist, nets $35 000
Read more: Nomanini raises fresh funding round from impact investment firm Goodwell
Read more: Nomanini secures Series-B bringing total capital raised to over R20-million
Read more: Prepaid voucher business-in-a-box Nomanini raises series-A funding

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