Cape Town, South Africa, August 17, 2016 – African financial technology company Zoona has successfully raised $15 million dollars (two hundred million Rand) in a second round of financing. This Series B round is led by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, and will help Zoona scale up its operations as it aims to reach 10 markets and 30 million active consumers across Africa by 2020.
First round investors Accion, whose investment is managed by Quona Capital, and Omidyar Network, an impact investment firm started by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar, reaffirmed their commitment to Zoona by more than doubling their respective investments during the Series B round.
The Lundin Foundation, a foundation that provides capital to high potential businesses to create wealth and alleviate poverty, also increased its investment in Zoona during this round.
The round also includes investment from 4Di Capital, a venture capital firm based in South Africa’s “Silicon Cape,” headed up by entrepreneur, investor and Zoona non-executive director Justin Stanford.
Zoona further announced that Patrick Pichette, former Chief Financial Officer at Google and long-time Zoona advisor has invested in the company.
“Technology has the potential to bring about financial inclusion to underserved communities across Africa,” said Zoona CEO Mike Quinn. “This investment round marks a key milestone in our journey to build a billion-dollar business that helps communities thrive. We are thrilled that investors the calibre of IFC, Accion and Quona Capital, Omidyar Network, Lundin Foundation and 4Di Capital buy into and support Zoona’s vision. Having Patrick Pichette invest, a visionary and long-time supporter of Zoona, is also very exciting.”
“As the world economies transit from cash-based to cashless, an entire infrastructure is needed to make that transition possible and ensure equal availability of both ‘currencies’, said Andi Dervishi, Global Head of IFC’s Fintech Investment Group. “Zoona has made this possible in Zambia and Malawi and is planning to do the same in many other markets in Africa. Whether in the form of a money transfer or a cash collection network, these retail footprints play an important role in acceptance and adoption of the new form of money and will be critical for the financial service industry as it transforms itself.”
“By enabling people to quickly, easily, and safely send and receive money when they need it most, Zoona has made a real difference in people's lives. Zoona’s network allows its customers to make convenient, low-cost digital money transfers. Their customers no longer need to travel long distances to make these transactions in person or with cash," said Michael Schlein, CEO and president of Accion. “Its strong management team, client-driven approach, and commitment to diversity and inclusion position Zoona well to continue advancing this important mission.”
Zoona uses technology to provide financial services to underserved and financially excluded communities across Africa. Zoona has over 1.5 million active users, and its system has processed over $1 billion in mobile money transactions since its founding 2009. The company’s mobile money platform has already enabled more than 1,000 entrepreneurs to become Zoona Agents, creating over 2,500 jobs at 1,500 agent outlets in the process.
Zoona is an African fintech company founded in 2009 with the vision of helping communities thrive. Since launching, it has created over 2,500 jobs in Zambia and Malawi, empowered over 1,000 entrepreneurs to start their own business and allowed them to reach earnings of over $10 million. The company has processed over $1 billion in mobile money transactions. In 2012, Zoona raised $4 million in an international Series A investment round led by the Omidyar Network and Accion. For more information, visit www.ilovezoona.com.
About the International Finance Corporation
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. Working with 2,000 businesses worldwide, they use their six decades of experience to create opportunity where it’s needed most. In FY15, its long-term investments in developing countries rose to nearly $18 billion, leveraging its capital, expertise and influence to help the private sector end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.
Accion is a global nonprofit dedicated to building a financially inclusive world with economic opportunity for all, by giving people the financial tools they need to improve their lives. We are building the next generation of top-tier microfinance institutions, and over more than 50 years have helped build 65 such institutions in 32 countries on four continents that today reach millions of clients. Our impact investing initiatives are pushing beyond microfinance to catalyze more than 20 innovative start-ups dedicated to improving the efficiency, reach, and scope of financial services for the poor. And our Center for Financial Inclusion is helping to build a stronger industry with high standards and broad engagement. Currently, our work spans nearly two dozen countries, including the U.S., where we are the nation’s largest nonprofit microfinance network. For more information, visit www.accion.org.
About Quona Capital
Quona Capital is an early growth-stage venture firm focused on financial technology for underserved consumers and businesses in emerging markets. Quona believes that the rapid pace of technological innovation and adoption —even among the marginalized in our global society—creates tremendous opportunities for consumers, entrepreneurs, and investors. Quona's partners have deep experience as investors and entrepreneurs in financial services and technology, and we have lived, worked and built companies in both the emerging markets we serve and the developed economies we seek to connect. Quona manages both the Accion Frontier Inclusion Fund and the investments held by Accion in its Frontier Investments Group portfolio, where Zoona sits. For more information, visit www.quona.com.
About the Omidyar Network
Omidyar Network is a philanthropic investment firm dedicated to harnessing the power of markets to create opportunity for people to improve their lives. Established in 2004 by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar and his wife Pam, the organization invests in and helps scale innovative organizations to catalyze economic and social change. Omidyar Network has committed more than US$879 million to for-profit companies and nonprofit organizations that foster economic advancement and encourage individual participation across multiple initiatives, including Consumer Internet & Mobile, Education, Financial Inclusion, Governance & Citizen Engagement, and Property Rights. For more information, visit www.omidyar.com.
About 4Di Capital
4Di Capital is an independent venture capital firm based in South Africa’s “Silicon Cape”, specialising in high-growth technology venture opportunities with international ambitions, principally in the early funding stages. The firm has offices in Cape Town, South Africa and Atlanta, Georgia, in the U.S., and counts among its investors Reinet Fund S.C.A., E. Oppenheimer & Sons, and Convergence Partners. Among others 4Di Capital has invested in enterprise web platforms, cloud scaling infrastructure, bio-mathematical health technology and financial technology ventures. For more information, visit www.4dicapital.com.
About the Lundin Foundation
The Lundin Foundation is a globally recognised leader in impact investing. The foundation was founded by the Lundin family with the understanding that supporting the growth of innovative organisations offers the most promising pathway to strengthening local economic foundations and improving the livelihood of millions in Africa.
About Patrick Pichette
Patrick Pichette was Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Google Inc from 2008 until 2015. He currently sits on the boards of a number of organisations, including multiple high impact startups. In 2015 he received the National Order of Quebec.