Goldman Sachs joined a $55 million funding round in South African fintech startup Jumo

Jumo partners with telcos and banks to offer financial service products.
Jumo partners with telcos and banks to offer financial service products.
Image: Reuters/Philimon Bulawayo
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African fintech has scored yet another major investment win: Jumo, a five-year old fintech startup has raised $55 million in debt and equity funding.

The latest investment round saw participation from existing investors including Goldman Sachs, Odey Asset Management and Leapfrog Investments as well as new unnamed investors. It brings Jumo’s total funding raised to nearly $150 million and follows two major rounds in 2018 when the company raised $64.5 million.

Although Goldman Sachs is best known as a Wall Street fixture, it has been steadily building an impressive portfolio of African startup investments in the last few years. It has previously led an investment round in Jumo, but also e-commerce leader Jumia, Kenyan agritech startup Twiga and Kobo 360, a logistics startup in Nigeria. Last month the Wall Street stalwart acquired a banking license to operate in South Africa.

Jumo operates in five African countries—Ghana, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia—where it partners with financial service providers and telecoms operators to offer lending, savings and insurance services to their vast customer bases. The company says it has disbursed $1.8 billion in loans since being founded and has now served 15 million customers.

Jumo’s South African founder Andrew Watkins-Ball, says the company’s “next phase” will see it develop more products and open up shop in Nigeria and Côte d’Ivoire this year. The company, which already operates in Pakistan, also plans to launch in India this year as well.

The fund raise comes amid intense interest in the potential of financial technology startups in Africa, notably from global payments giants. In a landmark deal last November, Visa purchased invested $200 million for a 20% stake in Nigerian payments processor, Interswitch confirming the company as Africa’s first fintech unicorn.

There’s also marked interest from China too: OPay and PalmPay, two payments services operating in Nigeria, received over $210 million in funding, predominantly from Chinese investors, over a five-month period last year.

Correction: The headline of this story previously stated Goldman Sachs led the investment round in Jumo. It did not.

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