African financial technology company Zoona has successfully raised US$15mn (ZAR200mn) in a second round of financing. This Series B round is led by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, and will help Zoona scale up its operations as it aims to reach 10 markets and 30 million active consumers across Africa by 2020.
First round investors Accion, whose investment is managed by Quona Capital, and Omidyar Network, an impact investment firm started by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar, reaffirmed their commitment to Zoona by more than doubling their respective investments during the Series B round. The Lundin Foundation, a foundation that provides capital to high potential businesses to create wealth and alleviate poverty, also increased its investment in Zoona during this round.
The round also includes investment from 4Di Capital, a venture capital firm based in South Africa’s “Silicon Cape”, headed up by entrepreneur, investor and Zoona non-executive director Justin Stanford. Zoona further announced that Patrick Pichette, former Chief Financial Officer at Google and long-time Zoona advisor has invested in the company.
“Technology has the potential to bring about financial inclusion to underserved communities across Africa,” said Zoona CEO Mike Quinn. “This investment round marks a key milestone in our journey to build a billion dollar business that helps communities thrive. We are thrilled that investors the calibre of IFC, Accion and Quona Capital, Omidyar Network, Lundin Foundation and 4Di Capital buy into and support Zoona’s vision. Having Patrick Pichette invest, a visionary and long-time supporter of Zoona, is also very exciting.”
“As the world economies transit from cash-based to cashless, an entire infrastructure is needed to make that transition possible and ensure equal availability of both ‘currencies’, said Andi Dervishi, Global Head of IFC’s Fintech Investment Group. “Zoona has made this possible in Zambia and Malawi and is planning to do the same in many other markets in Africa. Whether in the form of a money transfer or a cash collection network, these retail footprints play an important role in acceptance and adoption of the new form of money and will be critical for the financial service industry as it transforms itself.”
Zoona uses technology to provide financial services to underserved and financially excluded communities across Africa. Zoona has over 1.5 million active users, and its system has processed over US$1bn in mobile money transactions since its founding 2009. The company’s mobile money platform has already enabled more than 1,000 entrepreneurs to become Zoona Agents, creating over 2,500 jobs at 1,500 agent outlets in the process.
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