Consumer finance app Djamo eyes Francophone Africa growth, backed by new $14M round

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Last February, Djamo introduced that it obtained accepted into Y Combinator, the primary from Ivory Coast. Months later, the two-year-old fintech has raised $14 million in funding from the famed accelerator, in addition to from three lead traders — Enza Capital, Oikocredit and Partech Africa — and different collaborating traders, together with Janngo Capital, P1 Ventures, Axian and Launch Africa.

As with most fintechs throughout Africa, Djamo, launched by Régis Bamba and Hassan Bourgi final yr, supplies monetary companies for the underbanked and unbanked inhabitants. Its focus is on French-speaking markets the place fewer than 25% of adults have financial institution accounts. One purpose why that is so is that banks think about prosperous clients and people they deem worthwhile for enterprise. But as banks slacked, cell cash from the area’s telcos crammed within the hole, and within the final 10 years, their wallets have reached greater than 60% of the inhabitants — proof of what number of tens of millions of French-speaking natives have been hungry for monetary companies.

Today, this cell cash infrastructure and attain permits startups like Djamo to construct upon their current cost infrastructure to democratize monetary entry throughout banking and cell cash spheres. Djamo’s app permits for interoperability between banks and cell cash, which means that its clients in Ivory Coast can ship cash from their financial institution accounts to cell cash wallets, and again; it has leveraged this attribute to construct a full suite of monetary companies.

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Djamo’s first product is a Visa-powered debit card that lets customers make on-line purchases on websites corresponding to Amazon, Alibaba, or Netflix. Other merchandise embody digital accounts for peer-to-peer transactions, a product to obtain salaries, and an autosaving product that gives steerage into clients’ monetary objectives. Kuda, Telda, PiggyVest, TymeBank and Koa are a couple of examples of comparable merchandise throughout Africa.

“Before Djamo, it was a real challenge for an average customer to receive salaries digitally because they weren’t integrated into the banking system,” CEO Bourgi advised TechCrunch over a name. “We found the right partner to launch that product and any company can pay salary to employees with a Djamo account. When you look at Djamo, alongside other products, we want customers to be able to better manage their money and help them plan for their future. We’re not necessarily to digitize cash like mobile wallets. We are here to work on the personal finance side.”

Customers see a lot worth within the totally different use circumstances Djamo has assembled up to now that the fintech nonetheless depends on phrase of mouth to scale throughout Ivory Coast, in keeping with Bamba, the corporate’s chief product officer. The platform presently has registered over 500,000 clients, a greater than 5x improve from the 90,000 clients Djamo had onboarded as of February 2021.

“In our region, users pay amongst the highest fees in the world but do not always receive adequate service in return and that can be extremely frustrating. The one thing that we want to achieve is to offer a product where customers get real value for their money,” mentioned the CPO. “The app has been growing organically like crazy and to get such numbers in a market like this within a short period, is proof that we’re nailing the overall user experience and building something very relevant for users.”

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While they didn’t present an replace to the 50,000 month-to-month transactions recorded throughout the February interview, the founders say the fintech platform has processed over $400 million since inception. Djamo can be experiencing a income progress of 20% to 25% month-on-month, spurred by an modification to its pricing plan that features a free possibility and two premium choices with various companies: $2/month and $3.5/month. They say these choices are 80% cheaper than different financial institution accounts supplied by monetary establishments — together with microfinance banks that Djamo views as direct competitors because of their adoption of digital channels to supply monetary companies — in Ivory Coast.

Image Credits: Djamo

Bourgi mentioned 60% of Djamo clients have by no means used a Visa debit card earlier than becoming a member of the platform. It’s a feat the chief govt is happy with and deems essential in Djamo’s bid to make monetary companies accessible to the plenty, together with these exterior the Ivory Coast. The $14 million in funding capital, which it claims to be the largest-ever fairness round for a startup in Ivory Coast, will assist the startup advance into two different nations throughout Francophone Africa earlier than the top of subsequent yr and broaden product choices to incorporate investments and lending.

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Tidjane Deme, the final companion at Partech Africa, talking on the funding, mentioned, “Francophone Africa offers a large integrated market, with [a] fast-growing demand for frictionless services from a new cohort of digital-native young adults. We are excited to join forces with high-caliber local investors who bring sector and regional expertise to enable Djamo to unlock this opportunity.”

Consumer finance app Djamo eyes Francophone Africa expansion, backed by new $14M round by Tage Kene-Okafor initially printed on TechCrunch

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