Jamborow, a new Blockchain-based B2B fintech platform has raised $400,000 to launch in Nigeria. The fintech is working to extend financial services to the unbanked populace of the West African country.
Jamborow is Africa’s first B2B AI and Blockchain driven fintech platform focused on financial inclusion and grassroot empowerment.
The fintech was founded by Moses Onitilo, John Kamara and Olusegun George. The three have expressed earnest desire to take financial services to rural communities across Africa, using diverse tech system to close the existing gap between the banked and unbanked.
The founders have vast experience from works across fields in many countries. George was the account director in West Africa for the Governance Risk and Compliance division at Thomson Reuters. He was also a Group head at UBA Group in Lagos, and a former market analyst with Goldman Sachs.
Kamara worked as a director at the Machine Intelligence Institute of Africa in Cape Town, South Africa. On his part, Onitilo is an IT veteran with 25 years’ experience in ITSM, ITIL, Digital Transformation, AI, Blockchain, Encryption, Security, Process transformation, IT strategy, Governance, enterprise Management, and Emerging Technology.
The founders raised $400,000 from its shareholders and are poised to close a seed funding round over the coming weeks as they are hoping to launch into new markets.
Jamborow is targeting small-scale businesses, and low income earners in the rural areas as it aims to be Africa’s first inclusive and intelligent fintech platform built for the grassroot populace.
The co-founder and CTO of the company, John Onitilo says the idea was developed after extensive research on how to better serve the people in rural areas.
“Jamborow was conceived to promote financial and economic inclusion for the developing world. We conducted extensive research by traveling to various parts of the continent. What we discovered is that the grassroots population often suffered the same challenge: The inability to access formal financial services,” he said.
The two years old company is offering users access to digital payment options and mobile money, using its AI-powered robo-advisor and blockchain tech that creates a credit footprint. To implement its design and to reach the target audience, the firm is working with many stakeholders, such as banks, SME lenders, cooperatives, traditional savings group, microfinance institutions etc. in the finance industry to deliver financial services to the unbanked.
According to techmoran, Jamborow recently partnered with seven micro institutions that are now serving over 27 million members across African countries like Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, Sierra Leone and Liberia. And it is also using the services of payment facilitators like credit reference bureaus, mobile network operators, and e-commerce providers to simplify financial inclusion in Africa.
Co-founder and CEO of Jamborow, Olusegun George said Africa is ripe with financial markets and they saw a niche to provide financial services beyond what is common.
“Where we saw the niche in the market was by providing a whole ecosystem that looked beyond the predatory lending practices that we have witnessed in a number of markets we researched. Merely providing access to credit products falls short of the measurable and sustainable targets we envisioned at Jamborow, hence our slogan; ‘Beyond Financial Inclusion,’” he said.
Nigerian startups raised $55.37 million in the Q1 2020, and 99% of the funding came from foreign sources, according to data from Techpoint.
In Africa, approximately $350 million was raised in the Q1. South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya and Egypt led the way, according to data from Briter Bridges, a tech ecosystem data consultancy.
The Q1 result brings hope amidst the economic ravages emanating from COVID-19 pandemic. The African tech ecosystem is showing signs of resilience in a difficult time compared to the first quarter of 2019 which Weetracker put at $300 million, Q1 2020, has done better. In the last quarter of 2019, African startups raised $576.98 million.
It is hoped that if the fundraising continues in this terrain, the fourth quarter of 2020 will see African start-ups raising more funds than they did in the previous year.