Final February, Djamo introduced that it acquired 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, gives 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 motive why that is so is that banks focus on prosperous clients and people they deem worthwhile for enterprise. However as banks slacked, cellular 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 had been hungry for monetary companies.
In the present day, this cellular cash infrastructure and attain permits startups like Djamo to construct upon their present cost infrastructure to democratize monetary entry throughout banking and cellular cash spheres. Djamo’s app permits for interoperability between banks and cellular cash, that means that its clients in Ivory Coast can ship cash from their financial institution accounts to cellular cash wallets, and again; it has leveraged this attribute to construct a full suite of economic companies.
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. Different merchandise embrace digital accounts for peer-to-peer transactions, a product to obtain salaries, and an autosaving product that provides steering into clients’ monetary targets. Kuda, Telda, PiggyVest, TymeBank and Koa are just a few examples of comparable merchandise throughout Africa.
“Earlier than Djamo, it was an actual problem for a mean buyer to obtain salaries digitally as a result of they weren’t built-in into the banking system,” CEO Bourgi instructed TechCrunch over a name. “We discovered the precise companion to launch that product and any firm pays wage to workers with a Djamo account. While you have a look at Djamo, alongside different merchandise, we would like clients to have the ability to higher handle their cash and assist them plan for his or her future. We’re not essentially to digitize money like cellular wallets. We’re right here to work on the non-public finance aspect.”

Clients see a lot worth within the completely different use circumstances Djamo has assembled thus far that the fintech nonetheless depends on phrase of mouth to scale throughout Ivory Coast, in line 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 area, customers pay amongst the best charges on this planet however don’t at all times obtain enough service in return and that may be extraordinarily irritating. The one factor that we need to obtain is to supply a product the place clients get actual worth for his or her cash,” stated the CPO. “The app has been rising organically like loopy and to get such numbers in a market like this inside a brief interval, is proof that we’re nailing the general consumer expertise and constructing one thing very related for customers.”
Whereas they didn’t present an replace to the 50,000 month-to-month transactions recorded through 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 are saying these choices are 80% cheaper than different financial institution accounts provided by monetary establishments — together with microfinance banks that Djamo views as direct competitors resulting from their adoption of digital channels to offer monetary companies — in Ivory Coast.
Picture Credit: Djamo
Bourgi stated 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 lots, together with these outdoors the Ivory Coast. The $14 million in funding capital, which it claims to be the largest-ever fairness spherical 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 develop product choices to incorporate investments and lending.
Tidjane Deme, the overall companion at Partech Africa, talking on the funding, stated, “Francophone Africa gives a big built-in market, with [a] fast-growing demand for frictionless companies from a brand new cohort of digital-native younger adults. We’re excited to affix forces with high-caliber native traders who carry sector and regional experience to allow Djamo to unlock this chance.”

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