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非洲小额贷款平台Jumo获5200万美元融资,从新加坡切入进军东南亚市场

全新的互联网金融模式国际资讯

非洲小额贷款平台Jumo获5200万美元融资,从新加坡切入进军东南亚市场

Jumo是一个为非洲撒哈拉以南的手机用户提供贷款的在线平台。

近日,该公司宣布进军亚洲市场。为了实现这一目标,Jumo在新加坡开设了一个办事处,并获得了由银行业巨头高盛(Goldman Sachs)领投的5200万美元巨额投资。

在新一轮融资后,Jumo总计从投资者那里获得了9000万美元的融资。尽管本轮融资是由高盛领投的,但也得到了一些现有投资者的支持,其中包括Proparco(隶属于法国开发署)、Finnfund、Vostok Emerging Finance、Gemcorp Capital和LeapFrog Investments等。

Jumo于2014年成立,专注于开发社会影响金融产品。这意味着,对于那些被排除在现有银行体系之外的主体,尤其是小企业来说,他们又多了一份贷款和储蓄的选择。迄今为止,该公司声称已经帮助了非洲6个市场的900万消费者,并发放了超过7亿美元的贷款。

目前,该公司在非洲、欧洲和亚洲设有10个办事处,拥有约350名员工。该公司去年是“谷歌Launchpad加速器”项目的一部分,由首席执行官是Andrew Watkins-Ball领导。Watkins-Ball在金融和投资领域工作了近20年,积累了丰富的经验。

Watkins-Ball表示,他认为Jumo在非洲的工作已经使他们有了很多经验,因此也能够在亚洲市场提供类似的服务。

他在一次采访中表示:“我们是在一个非常艰苦的环境中长大的。坦桑尼亚可能是世界上最艰难的金融市场之一,但是我们在坦桑尼亚获得了最初的成功。亚洲也有许多这样的市场,这对我们来说更有吸引力。”

在西方市场上,挑战者正试图推翻传统银行体系。但是新兴市场却有所不同,很多金融科技初创企业正与现有银行体系密切合作。这不是一种逃避,实际上是完全合理的行为。对于那些寻求数百美元小额贷款的客户,银行根本没有合适的贷款方案,所以这些初创企业的出现刚好能够满足他们的需求。

从金融角度上讲,这些客户并没有带来回报,银行也没有理由投入资源来寻找潜在的贷款。即使他们愿意,他们也无法审查这些潜在客户。许多新兴市场根本不像西方那样有正规的信用检查系统,而由于一系列因素,许多没有银行账户的消费者甚至不会现身。

所以,必须有新的方案来弥补这一空缺。金融科技初创企业本质上就像一个漏斗。他们对客户获取和保留进行管理,开发基于替代信号的信用评估系统。随着时间的推移,他们还会建立客户档案以降低信用风险。这对银行来说也很合适,因为它们不需要处理细节问题,而且,当它运转良好时,初创企业会为它们带来足够多的小额贷款,这对金融机构来说是一个有价值的机会。

从最近的融资交易来看,这种模式在印度和东南亚等市场表现得很明显。ZestMoney上个月在印度进行了投资,Experian在东南亚投资了金融科技初创企业C88。

Watkins-Ball表示,Jumo的目标是将已经在非洲证明可行的模式推广到亚洲市场。他承认,许多初创企业也在解决这个问题,并对金融科技和小额融资领域日益激烈的竞争和增长潜力表示欢迎。

“我们为数百万不属于银行生态系统的新客户提供服务。”他解释说:“本质上,我们为银行拓展了可开发的市场。”

Jumo已经开始在巴基斯坦提供服务,并计划在亚洲开拓更多市场,不过Watkins-Ball没有说明具体是哪些市场,也没有说明具体时间。但是,除了证明其模式,他相信Jumo已经证明了它能够适应新的市场。

“印度、中国和印度尼西亚之间存在很大差异,同样地,加纳、坦桑尼亚和赞比亚等国之间的差异也是巨大的。”他说道。“所以我们必须学会使用我们的平台,我们的平台是灵活的,可以适应不同市场的客户。”

高盛执行董事Jules Frebault对Jumo的计划表示支持。Frebault在一份声明中表示:“在整个非洲乃至整个世界,Jumo都有巨大的机遇,可以在其成功的发展数字市场基础设施的基础上,为移动用户提供相关金融产品。”

除了在亚洲市场的扩张,Jumo的新目标也包括扩大其目前在非洲的产品选择。比如该公司正与更多银行合作,并计划推出“新一代”储蓄产品。

他说,虽然Jumo在非洲的业务仍在进行,但它可能会把大部分资源用于亚洲扩张计划。亚洲的金融科技领域已经显示出巨大潜力,此项计划将使Jumo成为该领域的一名新成员,能够吸引不少目光。

Asia’s fintech scene is poised to get a little larger after Jumo, a company that offers loans to the unbanked in Africa, revealed plans to expand into the continent. To get the ball rolling, Jumo has opened an office in Singapore to lead the way and landed a massive $52 million investment led by banking giant Goldman Sachs to fuel the growth.

The new round takes Jumo to $90 million raised from investors. While Goldman is the lead — and standout name — the round also saw participation from existing backers that include Proparco — which is attached to the French Development Agency — Finnfund, Vostok Emerging Finance, Gemcorp Capital, and LeapFrog Investments.

Jumo launched in 2014 and it specializes in social impact financial products. That means loans and saving options for those who sit outside of the existing banking system, and particularly small businesses. To date, it claims to have helped nine million consumers across its six markets in Africa and originated over $700 million in loans. The company, which has some 350 staff across 10 offices in Africa, Europe and Asia, was part of Google’s Launchpad accelerator last year and it is led by CEO Andrew Watkins-Ball, who has close to two decades in finance and investing.

Watkins-Ball told TechCrunch that he believes Jumo’s experience working in Africa sets it up perfectly to offer similar services in markets across Asia.

“We grew up in a very tough play yard,” he said in an interview. “We built our initial success in Tanzania which is probably one of the hardest [financial] markets in the world. A lot of these environments [in Asia] look more attractive.”

Unlike the West, where challengers are trying to unseat banks, fintech startups in emerging markets work with the existing system. That isn’t some cop-out, it actually makes perfect sense. Banks simply aren’t equipped to deal with customers seeking small loans in the hundreds of U.S. dollar bracket.

Financially, the returns aren’t there from these customers and it doesn’t make sense for banks to invest resources sounding out a prospective loan. Even if they wanted to, they couldn’t vet these would-be customers, though. Many emerging markets simply don’t have the formalized credit checking systems that exist in the West, while many of the unbanked (or ‘less banked’) consumers wouldn’t even show up if they did due to a range of factors.

That’s where a new approach is needed. Fintech startups essentially act like a funnel. They manage the customer acquisition and retention, develop systems to assess credit based on alternative signals and, over time, build up a customer profile that reduces credit risk. That suits banks because they don’t need to handle the nitty-gritty and, when it works well, the startups bring them larger enough volumes of small loans that are a worthwhile opportunity for financial institutions.

Just looking at recent funding deals, the model is evident in markets like India — where ZestMoney pulled in funds last month — and Southeast Asia, where Experian backed fintech startup C88.

Watkins-Ball said Jumo is aiming to do the same having already proven its model in Africa. He acknowledged that a number of startups are also tackling the problem and welcomed the increase competition and growth potential across the fintech and micro-financing space.

“We’ve offered services to millions of new customers who weren’t part of the banking ecosystems,” he explained. “Essentially we grow the addressable market for banks.”

Already, Jumo has begun offering services in Pakistan and it has plans to open up in more markets in Asia, although Watkins-Ball isn’t saying which ones or when right now. But, in addition to proving its model, he believes that Jumo has already shown it can adapt to new markets.

“The differences between countries like Ghana, Tanzania and Zambia are as great as those between India, China and Indonesia,” he told TechCrunch. “So we’ve had to learn to use our platform, which we built to be flexible, and localize in order to fit the customer.”

That’s backed up by Goldman Sachs  executive director Jules Frebault, who said in a statement: “There’s an immense opportunity across Africa and beyond for Jumo to build on their successful track record developing digital marketplace infrastructure to offer mobile subscribers access to relevant financial products.”

In addition to Asian expansions, Jumo’s new capital will also go towards expanding its current selection of productions in Africa. In particular, Watkins-Ball says the company is working to partner with more banks and it plans to introduce “new generations” of saving products.

While it isn’t taking its foot off the pedal in Africa, he said Jumo will likely devote the majority of its resources to the Asia expansion plan. That’ll make Jumo a very notable addition to a fintech scene that is already showing significant potential across the Asian region.


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