Orange Digital Ventures recently invested in PayJoy, a digital platform that allows people with limited or no access to credit to pay for a smartphone in regular installments serving 110 million customers in Africa and the Middle East.
This investment comes as part of PayJoy’s Series A-funding round alongside several VCs including Union Square Ventures (USV), Draper Nexus Ventures, Fenway Summer Ventures, Core Innovation Capital, among others.
PayJoy’s platform aims to reduce the financial barriers to acquiring a smartphone thereby opening up the smartphone market for over two-thirds of the world’s population who do not yet own one (over 5 billion people). Today, consumers with limited resources and little or no credit profiles, who represent a large and significant market of global consumers, do not have access to traditional phone leasing schemes.
PayJoy’s software platform provides a unique and disruptive way of making smartphone ownership more affordable for the Next-Billion consumers: the platform’s device-management software installed on smartphones transforms them into software-enabled collateral that allows third-party institutional lenders to finance the smartphone upfront and consumers to pay in monthly installments.
Pierre Louette, Orange’s CEO Delegate in charge of Orange Digital Ventures said: “Investing in PayJoy represents a logical extension of our investments in other frontier markets such as Jumia Group (formerly Africa Internet Group), Afrimarket and Afrostream. PayJoy illustrates our belief at Orange that disruptive ways of thinking can often provide surprisingly simple solutions for breaking down previously unsurmountable barriers”.
Doug Ricket Founder and CEO of PayJoy said: “We are delighted to partner with Orange Digital Ventures for the purpose of bringing mobile finance to underbanked consumers in emerging markets, and in particular we welcome Olawale Ayeni as a Board advisor to help PayJoy on the road ahead”.
PayJoy represents a novel and disruptive approach to providing credit to thin-file consumers, which according to McKinsey research represents a potential 2.3 trillion USD market, with an initial focus on the 400 billion USD, global smartphone opportunity. PayJoy’s software enables the emergence of a two-sided market place that brings together institutional third-party lenders and thin-file consumers. The company is currently located in California, USA.