US-based African-focused fintech Pngme, a financial data infrastructure and machine learning-as-a-service platform has raised $15 million in funding to allow financial institutions and fintechs to collect and aggregate financial data at scale.
The $15 million (nearly £11 million) in Series A funding round was led by Octopus Ventures and joined by Lateral Capital, Unshackled Ventures, Raptor Group, EchoVC, Future Africa, Two Small Fish Ventures, and a talented group of individual angel investors including RallyCap’s Hayden Simmons, Plaid’s Dan Khan, former COO of RBC Capital Markets Richard Talbot, and Intersect VC’s Kyle Ellicott among others.
With a focus on Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria, Pngme will use the Series A to expand its executive team by hiring Lorraine Kageni Maina as Chief Strategy Officer and Nick Masson as Chief Technology Officer. Alongside key executive hires, the company is eyeing to expand its data science, engineering, and sales teams globally to meet the demand for integrations across large enterprise banks, credit bureaus, MFBs, fintechs and neo banks.
“We are witnessing an explosion of digital financial services for African consumers, and the need for the clean, actionable data to drive this is more acute than ever. When we first met the team, they blew us away with a grand vision and deep understanding of the financial services challenges on the continent. The elegance of the technology solution, combined with an exceptional team and strong market traction with large institutions underlines our belief that Pngme will power the next generation of financial services in Africa, helping to give millions more people access to banking and lending.” Tosin Agbabiaka, fintech investor at Octopus Ventures
Founded by Brendan Playford and Cate Rung, Pngme has partnered with large financial institutions including a global credit bureau, Kuda Bank Renmoney, Credpal, Simplefi and other Tier 1 African Banks. These partners use the platform and their data science services to offer data and machine learning-driven products and user experiences to their customers. Its partners can integrate the platform with existing financial APIs such as Plaid, Okra, and Mono.
Brendan Playford and Cate Rung, CEO and COO respectively are building a mission critical data infrastructure and out-of-the box machine learning platform for financial institutions and fintechs across sub-Saharan Africa. Pngme consists of three core products – a mobile SDK, Customer Management Platform, and API – that drive the adoption and use of personalized user experiences and financial products. Its mobile SDK and data processing pipelines simplify collection of alternative financial data and unify it with other data sources, thereby creating a picture of an individual’s financial behavior.
“With the demand we are seeing in our core markets and from financial institutions globally, it is clear we are solving a major pain point by building financial data infrastructure and machine learning as a service. With this fresh injection of capital we are not only scaling up our data processing and machine learning capabilities, but also building a robust team that can deliver on our mission of financial inclusion”. Brendan Playford, CEO of Pngme
Pngme is also working with TransUnion Africa, which is pending regulatory approval to be able to acquire previously inaccessible data directly from individuals, including siloed financial data, alternative financial data, and unreported lending data to create machine learning-based predictive credit scorecards for its customers. With Pngme, TransUnion Africa anticipates data coverage growth of 20 per cent or more for alternative credit scoring purposes.
“Our partnership with Pngme is expected to enable financial institutions across Sub-Saharan Africa to build digital use cases that service all borrowers. Alternative data will power next generation services in Africa: we are excited to play a leadership role in the sector driving financial inclusion and financial innovation.” Samuel Tayengwa, Director for Product Management at TransUnion Africa.
“Pngme’s infrastructure has processed billions of data points from hundreds of financial institutions across sub-Saharan Africa and we plan to double down on our Insights Library and expand our third party data connections to other markets over the next year.” – Cate Rung, COO of Pngme.