Djamo, an Ivorian fintech startup that offers financial services to the region’s unbanked and underbanked people, has just announced that it has raised $14 million in an equity round. This is presumably the most significant equity investment ever for a startup in Côte d’Ivoire.
However, this is not the first investment support Djamo has received since its launch in 2020. The Ivorian startup was the first from the region to get accepted into Y Combinator last year. They also participated in the Visa Fintech Fast Track Program.
This latest round of funding, co-led by Enza Capital, Oikocredit and Partech Africa, with participation from Janngo Capital, P1 ventures, Axian, Launch Africa and other existing investors, reinforces Djamo’s vision that the distribution of financial services throughout Francophone Africa is fundamentally transitioning toward applications.
Speaking on the investment, one of the investors, Tidjane Deme, the general partner at Partech Africa, said,
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.
The new funding will help the startup advance its services and expand to other new francophone African markets. It will also enable the startup to expand its product offerings to include investments and lending to empower its customers across the region further.
Founded by Régis Bamba and Hassan Bourgi, Djamo aims to democratise financial access across the banking and mobile money sectors by creating interoperability between banks and mobile money, allowing customers to access a full range of financial services through Djamo.
Its objective is to give hundreds of millions of people access to simple, inexpensive, mobile-first banking. Its main concentration is on French-speaking markets, where fewer than 25% of adults have bank accounts.
To achieve this goal, Djamo has teamed up with local banks to provide frictionless mobile-first services. The company’s first product is a debit card with Visa technology. Some of its other services include peer-to-peer virtual accounts for transactions, a tool to collect salary, and an autosaving product that provides advice on users’ financial goals.
These services deliver clear consumer value while completing the current local and cross-border payment offer offered by the App and card.
The fintech growth performance across the region
According to TechCrunch, the platform currently has over 500,000 registered customers, which is a 5x increase from its customer base as of February 2021.
Speaking on their success, Régis Bamba, founder and the company’s Chief Product Officer, said,
Customers see so much value in the different use cases Djamo has assembled so far that the fintech still relies on word of mouth to scale across Ivory Coast.
He also noted that the company’s purpose is being fulfilled, particularly concerning the overall user experience and creating something highly relevant to people and that this growth has been organic.
“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. We have attracted more than 500,000 customers and our rapid organic growth is a testimony to that, they just love the product and tell everyone about it.”
The founders also mentioned, according to TechCrunch, that the platform has processed over $400 million since inception and is also experiencing a revenue growth of 20% to 25% month-on-month.
This growth may be due to the company’s assertion that its options are 80% less expensive than other bank accounts provided by financial institutions in Côte d’Ivoire, including microfinance banks, which the fintech startup views as direct competitors because they use digital channels to provide financial services.