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Consumer finance app Djamo plans to expand French-speaking Africa with new $14M round • CableFree TV

Last February Jamo announced that he received accepted into Y Combinator, the first from Ivory Coast. A few months later, the two-year-old fintech raised $14 million in funding from the famed accelerator, as well as three top investors – Enza Capital, Oikocredit and Partech Africa – and other participating investors including Janngo Capital, P1 Ventures, Axian. and Start Africa.

Like most fintech companies in Africa, Djamo launched Regis Bamba as well as Hassan Burji last year provides financial services to low-income and unbanked population. His focus is on French-speaking markets, where less than 25% of adults have bank accounts. One of the reasons why this is the case is because banks are concentrating on high net worth clients and those they consider to be good for business. But as banks have weakened, mobile money from the region’s telecom operators has filled the gap, and over the past 10 years, their wallets have reached more than 60% of the population – proof of how many millions of French-speaking residents are hungry for financial services. .

Today, this mobile money infrastructure and outreach allows startups like Djamo to build on existing payment infrastructure to democratize access to finance in banking and mobile money. The Djamo app provides interoperability between banks and mobile money, meaning that its Ivory Coast customers can send money from their bank accounts to mobile wallets and vice versa; he used this characteristic to create a complete set of financial services.

Djamo’s first product is the Visa debit card, which allows users to make online purchases on sites such as Amazon, Alibaba or Netflix. Other products include virtual accounts for peer-to-peer transactions, a payroll product, and an autosave product that offers guidance on clients’ financial goals. Where, Telda, Piggy bankVest, TimeBank as well as Koa some examples of comparable products in Africa.

“Before Djamo, getting paid digitally for the average customer was a real challenge because they weren’t integrated into the banking system,” CEO Burji told TechCrunch by phone. “We have found the right partner to launch this product and any company can pay employees with a Djamo account. When you look at Djamo, along with other products, we want customers to be able to better manage their money and help them plan for their future. We don’t have to digitize cash like mobile wallets do. We are here to work on personal finance.”

According to Bamba, the company’s chief product officer, customers see so much value in the different use cases Djamo has put together so far that fintech still relies on word of mouth to scale in Ivory Coast. There are currently over 500,000 registered customers on the platform, which is more than 5 times more than Djamo’s 90,000 registered customers as of February 2021.

“In our region, users pay some of the highest fees in the world, but don’t always get the right service in return, and that can be extremely frustrating. The only thing we want to achieve is to offer a product where customers get real value for their money,” said CPO. “The app has grown organically like crazy and getting that many in such a market in a short period of time is proof that we are achieving overall user experience and creating something very relevant for users.”

Although they did not provide an update on the 50,000 monthly transactions recorded during February interview, the founders say the fintech platform has processed more than $400 million since its inception. Djamo is also experiencing a 20% to 25% increase in revenue from the previous month, helped by an amendment to its pricing plan that includes a free option and two premium options with different services: $2/month and $3.5/month. They say these options are 80% cheaper than other bank accounts offered by financial institutions, including microfinance banks, which Jamo sees as direct competition due to their use of digital channels to provide financial services, in Côte d’ Ivoire.

Image credits: Jamo

Burji said that 60% of Djamo’s customers had never used a Visa debit card before joining the platform. This is a feat that the company’s CEO is proud of and sees as pivotal in Jamo’s quest to make financial services accessible to the masses, including those outside the Ivory Coast. The $14 million in financial capital, which the company claims is the Ivory Coast’s largest-ever startup round, will help the startup move to two other French-speaking African countries by the end of next year and expand its product offering to include investments. and lending.

Tijan Deme, General Partner of Partech Africa, speaking about the investment, said: “Francophone Africa offers a large integrated market with [a] rapidly growing demand for hassle-free services from a new cohort of digitally born young people. We are excited to join forces with major local investors who bring their industry and regional expertise to enable Djamo to unlock this opportunity.”

By Peter Kavinsky

Peter Kavinsky is the Executive Editor at cablefreetv.org