SOUTH AFRICA – JUMO, a fintech startup, has secured US$55 million in its latest funding round for expansion into new markets and to launch new products in Africa and Asia.

The latest investment shoots JUMO’s total funding up to US$158 million, making it one of the best-funded tech startups on the African continent. JUMO had something of a swashbuckling year in 2018, raising US$67.5 million across three funding rounds.

The latest investment comes from new and existing JUMO investors including Goldman Sachs, Odey Asset Management, and LeapFrog Investments.

Founded in 2014 by Andrew Watkins-Ball who currently leads the startup as CEO, JUMO specializes in social impact financial products, offering loans and saving options to those who are neglected by existing financial systems, and particularly small businesses.

JUMO leverages mobile networks to provide loans and savings products to its customers. The digital financial services company has developed a credit-scoring algorithm that helps customers to unlock the value of their digital footprints by giving an accurate estimation of their creditworthiness.

The startup bundles products from various banks and sells it to businesses on the lookout for credit. The entire process of lending is facilitated through mobile networks, where the startup has tied up deals with a number of service providers.

Given high feature phone usage in key markets as well as customer sensitivity to data costs, JUMO offers transactional capability via basic USS$, web or app to allow seamless access and usage of the platform and products.

To date, JUMO claims to have helped millions of consumers across its six markets in Africa and originated more than US$1 billion in loans, having started out in Tanzania.

Since September 2018 when the startup first announced expansion into Asia via Pakistan, JUMO has moved its headquarters to Singapore while also growing to no less than 10 million people saving or borrowing from its platform.

At the last count, the company had some 350 staff across 10 offices in Africa, Europe, and Asia.

A delighted Watkins-Ball expressed excitement with regards to the startup’s latest funding announcement.

“I’m excited for our next phase. This backing will help us build a better business and break new ground. The strong vote of confidence, along with the world-class tech talent we now have in the business, means we can achieve exceptional outcomes for our partners and customers,” enthuses JUMO’s CEO who has close to two decades in finance and investing under his belt.