Informal retail fintech platform Nomanini has announced a $4m funding round led by South African financial services group Standard Bank and completed by Goodwell Investments, an Amsterdam-based investment firm focused on fintech and financial inclusion.
Following the investments, Standard Bank is set to gain a stake of the company and can now utilise Nomanini’s platform to “unearth previously invisible data on the informal retail economy.”
Standard Bank expects to be able to provide its customers with this new element of business analytics which provides access to new lines of business, credit and savings services for millions of informal merchants without accessing a bank branch or leave their points of sale.
The service will be available in South Africa, Zambia, Mozambique, Uganda, Malawi, Angola, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania eSwatini, Lesotho and Botswana.
“The reality is, around 86% of all employment in Sub-Saharan Africa is informal. Going to the bank and filling out forms for a loan is simply not viable – and can take days. In Nomanini, we’ve found a partner uniquely placed to help micro-merchants in Africa thrive, not just survive,” said Adrian Vermooten, Head of Digital in Africa Regions, Standard Bank.
“Our partnership and investment in Nomanini has helped us uncover simple, scalable opportunities while granting new and existing customers access to financial services for the first time. Previously, this type of information was unavailable to us but now our merchant customers can access banking services wherever they are and whenever it suits them.”
Nomanini uses transaction data analysis to create a creditworthiness of micro-merchants’ – providing financial institutions a clearer and more trustworthy assessment for first time working capital loans.
With the investment, the company plans to expand its portfolio of financial services to offer remittances, insurance and other products in the future.
“This partnership with Standard Bank will be instrumental for Nomanini’s next wave of growth, while ensuring that millions of Africa’s underserved micro-entrepreneurs receive access to digital financial services for the first time. And this is just the beginning,” commented Vahid Monadjem, Founder & CEO of Nomanini.
“Nomanini’s interoperable wallet is a gateway to a whole range of digital banking services – loans and savings now but soon, remittances and insurance too.
“It’s only by bridging the divide between the digital and the physical cash that rules in these markets that we’ll be able to rewrite the rules of informal retail trade in Africa.”
Sub-Saharan Africa remains one of the world’s largest untapped economic opportunities, with consumer spending expected to reach $2.1 trillion by 2025 (McKinsey, 2017).