South Africa's Jumo scores Goldman Sachs investment for Asian expansion

South Africa's Jumo scores Goldman Sachs investment for Asian expansion

Jumo, an African fintech startup that helps the underbanked get access to financial services such as loans and savings products, has set its sights on Asia after securing $52 million in a funding round led by Goldman Sachs.

Proparco, the private sector financing arm of the French Development Agency, Finnfund, Vostok Emerging Finance, Gemcorp Capital, and LeapFrog Investments all also participated in the round.

Launched in 2014, Cape Town-headquartered Jumo uses behavioural data such as mobile phone usage to assess credit risk for people and businesses where more traditional information is unavailable.

Working with banks and mobile network operators, the firm has been used by more than nine million people across Africa to save or borrow, with nearly 70% of these being micro and small business owners. To date, it has originated over $700 million in loans on its platform and manages over 25 million customer interactions per month.

Having established itself in Africa, the firm is now looking to move into new markets. It has already launched in Pakistan and, with the new funding in place, CEO Andrew Watkins-Ball has relocated to Singapore to mastermind an Asian expansion.

Says Watkins-Ball: "We are working hard to connect hundreds of millions of people with access to the best possible choices from leading banks. 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."

Jules Frebault, executive director at Goldman Sachs, adds: "There is immense opportunity across Africa and beyond for Jumo to build on their successful track record developing digital marketplace infrastructure to offer mobile subscribers access to relevant financial products."

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