Founder Institute Lagos

Fintech Startup Djamo Raises $14M For Francophone Africa Expansion

Djamo has secured $14 million from the renowned accelerator, three lead investors (Enza Capital, Oikocredit, and Partech Africa), as well as additional investors (Jango Capital, P1 Ventures, Axian, and Launch Africa).

Djamo, founded by Régis Bamba and Hassan Bourgi last year, offers financial services to the underbanked and unbanked populace, as do the majority of fintechs throughout Africa.

Less than 25% of adults in French-speaking markets with a focus on these markets have bank accounts. This is due, in part, to banks’ focus on wealthy clients and people who they view as profitable for their businesses.

However, as the region’s banks fell short, mobile money from its telecoms filled the void. In the past ten years, their wallets have touched more than 60% of the population, demonstrating how many millions of French-speaking locals were in need of financial services.

Due to the reach and infrastructure of mobile money, firms like Djamo can now expand on their current payment infrastructure to democratize financial access in the banking and mobile money sectors.

Since Djamo’s software enables interoperability between banks and mobile money, its Ivory Coast users can transfer funds back and forth from their bank accounts to their mobile money wallets, and the company has taken advantage of this feature to provide a comprehensive range of financial services.

The first product from Djamo is a debit card supported by Visa that enables customers to make online purchases from retailers like Amazon, Alibaba, or Netflix.

Other products come in the form of salary-receiving software, peer-to-peer virtual accounts, and an autosaving tool that helps users reach their financial objectives. Several related products available in Africa are Kuda, Telda, PiggyVest, TymeBank, and Koa.

The various use cases are extremely valuable in the customers’ eyes. According to Bamba, the business’s chief product officer, Djamo has amassed so much that the fintech still depends on word of mouth to scale across Ivory Coast.

Over 500,000 users have registered on the platform as of this writing, a more than 5-fold growth from the 90,000 users Djamo had as of February 2021.

The addition of a free option and two premium alternatives with different services—$2/month and $3.5/month—to its price structure has helped Djamo see a growth in revenue of 20% to 25% month over month.

According to them, these choices are 80% less expensive than other bank accounts provided by financial organizations, such as microfinance banks, which Djamo regards as direct competitors because they use digital channels to deliver financial services in Ivory Coast.

According to Bourgi, 60% of Djamo users have never used a Visa debit card before signing up for the service. The chief executive is happy with the accomplishment and sees it as essential to Djamo’s effort to make financial services available to everyone, including those outside the Ivory Coast.

The business will use the $14 million in financial funds, which it claims is the largest equity round for a startup in Ivory Coast, to expand its product offerings to include access to finance and investments before the conclusion of next year and enter two more countries in Francophone Africa.

Techbuild’s Take

The existing credit system just isn’t functional for the millions of underbanked Africans since conventional banks have failed to develop a more individualized financial solution focused on underbanked and unbanked consumers.

Even in cases where conventional banks have knowledge of the client journey, they choose not to work with people who have a spotty credit history or poor credit scores.

Fintech businesses are utilizing the increasing use of mobile phones to bring financial inclusion to the unbanked and underbanked, particularly in Africa. This has gained popularity because many people no longer need to visit banks in order to send and receive money.

This demonstrates the necessity for financial services innovation to upend the existing financial system and make it more inclusive.

Fintech startups are currently providing services to the unbanked people, gathering data that will alter how businesses provide these customers’ needs in the future and receiving financial support from investors to expand to new regions, like in the instance of Djamo.

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