Julaya, a fintech startup located in the Ivory Coast that offers businesses and institutions an online platform for sending payments via mobile money and mobile banking wallets, has secured US$2 million in pre-Series A funding to enable it grow and expand its services across West Africa.
Julaya, founded in 2018 by Mathias Léopoldie and Charles Talbot, has a customer base that includes SMBs, large corporations, and government institutions, as well as brands like Jumia.
The startup, which previously raised US$250,000 in 2018 and US$550,000 in 2019/2020, in June raised a US$2 million pre-Series A round to fund its next stage of growth. Investors include corporate venture capital firms Orange Ventures and MFS Africa Frontiers, VC firms Saviu Ventures, Launch Africa Ventures and 50 Partners Capital, and business angels from Europe and Africa.
Julaya plans to use the funds to expand its business in Ivory Coast, expand into West Africa (beginning with Sénégal), and create new products. Interfacing new digital wallets into its disbursement offering and upselling with a better user experience, such as integrating with customers’ ERP systems, are examples of the latter.
“Having worked in the nascent mobile money industry, we realised that the large consumer penetration of telecom operators would benefit businesses that wanted to reach the unbanked and make fast payments. Our platform Julaya enables companies to streamline their accounting. They improve their operational efficiency by digitizing their payments to workers and suppliers,” Léopoldie said.
The reason for Orange Ventures’ strategic investment was outlined by Habib Bamba, director of transformation for digital and media at Orange Ivory Coast.
“Fintech’s environment in Africa is distinguished by its competitiveness and strong dynamism. Orange Group, through its technology investment fund, intends to participate in this boom by supporting fintechs such as Julaya. The goal is to target local technology champions at the service of the transition to a more digital and responsible world. This funding will allow Julaya to grow and conquer West Africa with the Orange Digital Centre team’s support,” he said.