Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

Financial technology firm Jumo plans to expand in high-growth Asian markets after securing the backing of Goldman Sachs in an equity funding round, the company’s CEO said.

Since its founding in 2014, Jumo, which helps individuals and small businesses access savings and credit products through their mobile devices, has mainly focused on Africa, where the adoption of mobile money has transformed the banking landscape.

Headquartered in Cape Town, Jumo has offices in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Ghana, Zambia and the UK. It now operates in Pakistan, and CEO Andrew Watkins-Ball recently moved to its Singapore office to lead the drive into Asia.

Led by Goldman Sachs’s first-time investment in the company, Jumo raised $52m. Other investors include Proparco, Finnfund, Vostok Emerging Finance, Gemcorp Capital, and LeapFrog Investments.

Jumo uses behavioural data such as mobile phone use to help financial services providers and mobile network operators assess lending risk and tailor financial products to those living in developing countries, where credit information is scarce.

More than 9-million people have saved or borrowed using Jumo technology since it was launched in 2014. The platform has originated over $700m in loans and manages over 25-million customer interactions per month, the company said.

Jumo’s partners include telecoms firms MTN, Airtel, Telenor and banks including First National Bank and Pakistan’s Telenor Micro-finance bank.