JUMO Raises $ 3 Million from Proparco to Fuel its Mobile Lending Business in Africa

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Mobile credit platform JUMO  unbanked or under-banked people access to financial services via their mobile phones has raised $3m from Proparco, a French development finance institution with operations across Africa.
According to Grégory Clemente, Chief Executive Officer of Proparco, “This investment in JUMO – our first investment in a Fintech – is a natural extension of our action to promote financial inclusion by focusing on microfinance organisations, loans for SMEs – and now mobile technology. This project harnesses mobile phone technology to reach much larger numbers of people in a much wider area.”
Recently, Proparco invested $5 million in TLCOM TIDE AFRICA FUND to finance young innovative companies in sub-Saharan Africa. TLcom will use the funds to help the start-ups to improve people’s access to essential services as the penetration rate of SIM cards goes up. 
The firm’s investment in JUMO aims to help provide loans and savings-products to customers through mobile phone networks. The company has developed a credit scoring algorithm which helps customers to unlock the value of their digital footprints by providing an accurate estimation of their creditworthiness, helping them to access finance at a very low cost due to the company’s efficient, large scale platform approach.
In 2017 alone, the start-up granted 12,2 million loans to customers and currently operates in Africa (Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Zambia and Ghana) and recently launched its first activities in Asia (Pakistan).

 

A large proportion of JUMO’s current customers earn very low incomes (80% of the company’s Tanzanian customers live on less than 4 dollars a day). Many are accessing financial products for the first time thanks to the company, for example, 81% of the company’s Tanzanian and 77% of Zambian customers say they have never taken out a formal loan before.

Mobile-phone-enabled financial services go some way to helping meet the shortage of traditional banking solutions, which are often expensive and unsuited to the needs of a large proportion of people in emerging markets. Proparco is deploying its investment of US$ 3 million as a way to partner in JUMO’s development and to help grow the mobile loan sector in support of low-income populations, especially informal micro entreprenuers who are frequently shut out of the formal banking system.

“We have proven our business model and are now gearing up for the next phase of building the largest scale and lowest cost platform delivering high-quality financial services to emerging markets,” said Andrew Watkins-Ball, founder and CEO of JUMO. “With Proparco  we have an investor who understands the complexity of our markets and is committed to the qualitative imperatives of our mission such as customer protection and transparency so we are very excited about this partnership.“