Fintech startup Julaya secures US$2m pre-Series A funding to expand its products

CÔTE D’IVOIREJulaya, fintech startup which provides businesses and institutions with an online platform to disburse payments to mobile money and mobile banking wallets, has received US$2 million in pre-Series A funding to grow and expand its product in West Africa.

Founded in 2018 by Mathias Léopoldie and Charles Talbot, Julaya has a customer base that ranges from SMBs to large corporates and government institutions and includes brands such as the e-commerce company Jumia.

The startup, which previously raised US$250,000 in 2018 and US$550,000 in 2019/2020, in June raised a US$2 million pre-Series A round to fund its next stage of growth. Investors include corporate venture capital firms Orange Ventures and MFS Africa Frontiers, VC firms Saviu Ventures, Launch Africa Ventures and 50 Partners Capital, and business angels from Europe and Africa

Julaya will use the funding for further market penetration in Ivory Coast, expansion in West Africa – starting with Senegal – and new product development. The latter includes integrating new digital wallets to its disbursement offering and upselling with a better user experience such as integrating with its customers’ ERP systems.

Fintech’s environment in Africa is distinguished by its competitiveness and strong dynamism.”

Habib Bamba – Director, Orange Ivory Coast

“Having worked in the nascent mobile money industry, we realized that the large consumer penetration of telecom operators would benefit businesses that wanted to reach the unbanked and make fast payments. Our platform Julaya enables companies to streamline their accounting. They improve their operational efficiency by digitizing their payments to workers and suppliers,” Léopoldie said.

Habib Bamba, director of transformation for digital and media at Orange Ivory Coast, explained the reason behind this strategic investment for Orange Ventures.

Fintech’s environment in Africa is distinguished by its competitiveness and strong dynamism. Orange Group, through its technology investment fund, intends to participate in this boom by supporting fintechs such as Julaya,” he said.

“The goal is to target local technology champions at the service of the transition to a more digital and responsible world. This funding will allow Julaya to grow and conquer West Africa with the Orange Digital Centre team’s support.”

Currently, the startup has 50 corporate customers and processes about US$1.5 million monthly. According to the startup, the funds raised will be used to expand their market share in Ivory Coast and West Africa, launch new digital payment products, and expand their team.

Léopoldie lists the fragmented nature of payments, regulation, and human resources as some of the challenges the startup has faced since inception. With this fresh injection of capital, the startup plans to expand across West Africa beginning with Senegal.

Across the world, fintech startups are courted by investors and Africa has not been left out with fintech startups responsible for a huge chunk of the funding that comes to the continent. In spite of the number of players currently in the sector, the fact that 66% of Africans are unbanked means that there is a large market for anyone bold enough to throw their hat in the ring.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.