Julaya, an Ivorian fintech firm focused on payments, has added $5 million to its pre-Series A financing. The startup, which primarily uses mobile money channels to allow B2B payments for companies in Francophone West Africa, has secured a total of $7 million in the financing round.
Speedinvest, a European venture capital firm, led the pre-Series A extension round for Julaya. The round also included investments from EQ2 Ventures, Kibo Ventures, the angel groups Unpopular Ventures and Jedar Capital, as well as previous backers Orange Ventures, Saviu, 50 Partners, Ivorian entrepreneur Mohamed Diabi, and football player Édouard Mendy.
The Julaya platform enables small to large businesses in francophone nations to send payments in bulk via current mobile money channels to other companies and their unbanked personnel.
However, they now have access to extra services, such as the startup’s prepaid Mastercard card for managing business expenses.
The cards are designed with corporate travel requirements, online spending, and simple transaction input into company accounting systems in mind.
Providing cards, the majority of which are physical (upon clients’ demands), is not the primary approach for Julaya in terms of income growth, according to Léopoldie.
He claims that it is a switching cost strategy that sets the fintech apart from rivals like YC-backed, who rely heavily on cards.
The corporate cost management component of Julaya is used by more than 40% of its 500 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMBs), startups, large corporations, and government organizations.
Léopoldie noted that although medium to big businesses accounts for the majority of usage, small businesses have unexpectedly embraced fintech more than larger clients.
The French-Ivorian startup’s product line has recently been expanded to include a “Cash & Collect” solution that enables “quick and secured” cash collection, particularly in the FMCG industry.
Businesses can do this without traveling to a bank by using a mobile money agent branch to deposit money from in-person and field sales into their Julaya accounts.
Léopoldie claimed in July of last year that the fintech was handling more than $1.5 million per month. Those figures have multiplied by five to reach more than $7.5 million, and sales have grown by over 500% year over year. Some of Julaya’s clientele includes companies like Jumia and Sendy.
Payment service providers are organizations that use technology and digital solutions to facilitate transactions between parties digitally or without the use of actual money.
The surge in internet and mobile increasing adoption in Africa has ushered in a period of digitization that has unquestionably benefited payments businesses throughout the continent.
Several of these companies were able to expand their user bases and add other languages for non-English speaking countries since they were early innovators in the computer industry. Ivorian Julaya is one of these businesses which is a francophone fintech.
The industry has seen substantial growth while gaining investment and continues to do so. In order to adapt to changing customer needs and behavior, many businesses have had to digitalize their operations. Customer tests of and faith in digital financial services have grown.
With investments like these, fintech companies are able to expand to new areas and offer banking services to the unbanked and underbanked.
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