Jamborow, a new Blockchain-based B2B fintech platform has raised $400,000 to launch in Nigeria and offer unmatched financial services to the unbanked in Africa’s biggest economy, then spread across Africa.
Jamborow, a brainchild of Moses Onitilo, John Kamara, and Olusegun George raised the $400,000 from its shareholders and is poised to close a seed funding round over the coming weeks to launch into new markets.
With the seed raise the firm aims to be Africa’s first inclusive and intelligent fintech platform built for the unbanked and underbanked population such as street vendors, small-scale entrepreneurs, and the rural population.
“Jamborow was conceived to promote financial and economic inclusion for the developing world,” says Onitilo, co-founder and CTO of Jamborow. “We conducted extensive research by traveling to various parts of the continent. What we discovered is that the grassroots population often suffered the same challenge: the inability to access formal financial services.”
According to the World Bank, approximately 66% of sub-Saharan Africans are unbanked and locked out of the financial sector. These leads to cash-only transactions which make it harder to grow, invest, or effectively regulate a business. This “invisible economy” also prohibits official statistics and taxation to prop up the economy.
Launched in 2018, Jamborow is giving users access to digital payment options and mobile money via its AI-powered robo-advisor and blockchain tech that creates a credit footprint.
The firm is working with all the major players in the financial ecosystem such as banks, SME lenders, cooperatives, traditional savings groups, microfinance institutions, and other types of organizations to serve the growing informal sector.
The firm has recently onboarded seven micro-lending institutions serving a total of 27 million members across Tanzania, Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda, Zambia, Liberia, and Sierra Leone and is working with payment processors, credit reference bureaus, mobile network operators, and e-commerce providers among others to simplify financial inclusion in Africa.
B2C users use Jamborow’s mobile app to access loans, insurance, debit cards, healthcare products, pensions and risk management as well as financial education to help them make better decisions. According to Kamara, co-founder and director of Jamborow, financial literacy is the key to empowerment to its target audience.
“Where we saw the niche in the market was by providing a whole ecosystem that looked beyond the predatory lending practices that we have witnessed in a number of markets we researched,” says George, co-founder and CEO of Jamborow. “Merely providing access to credit products falls short of the measurable and sustainable targets, we envisioned at Jamborow, hence our slogan ‘Beyond Financial Inclusion’.”
The founders have worked and traveled across the world. George is a former account director in the West Africa for Governance Risk and Compliance division at Thompson Reuters. He was a Group Head at UBA Group in Lagos and former market analyst at Goldman Sachs.
Kamara was a director at the Machine Intelligence Institute of Africa in South Africa’s Cape Town while Onitilo is a 25-year IT veteran with a background in ITSM, ITIL, Digital Transformation, AI, Blockchain, Encryption, Security, Process transformation, IT Strategy, Governance, Enterprise Management, and Emerging Technology.
Onitilo and George both born in the UK, but had part of their early schooling in Lagos, Nigeria before they went back to business school in London.