Nigerian Digital Bank, Umba, Raises $15 Million in Series A Funding

According to the Umba CEO, Tiernan Kennedy, Umba operates a credit-led model where it first solves the problem of liquidity for customers before upselling them on a broad spectrum of banking products.

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Umba, a digital bank, has raised $15 million in its Series A round of funding almost two years since it raised a seed round of $2 million.

Investors who took part in the funding include:

  • Nubank
  • Tom Blomfield, the Co-Founder of Monzo
  • Lachy Groom, ACT Ventures
  • Lux Capital
  • Palm Drive Capital
  • Banana Capital
  • Streamlined Ventures
  • VC firm Costanoa Ventures

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SEE ALSO: MTN Nigeria Gets Approval to Offer Mobile Money Payments in Nigeria

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This latest investment showcases the wide interest and opportunity in financial inclusion as more and more digital fintechs chip at the problem with only 43% of the region’s population holding accounts at financial institutions. 

Some of the features offered by the digital bank include:

  • Free bank accounts
  • Interbank transfers
  • Peer-to-peer transfers
  • Bill payments

“Umba is a customer-centric digital bank that increases access to financial tools while eliminating predatory fees and minimums, empowering customers across Africa to control their financial lives by ensuring affordable, efficient, and widely available financial services.”

– Umba

According to the Umba CEO, Tiernan Kennedy, Umba operates a credit-led model where it first solves the problem of liquidity for customers before upselling them on a broad spectrum of banking products.

Among these products offered also are loans with Umba using proprietary data generated by customers to offer credit products.

Umba generates most of its revenues from charging consumers a monthly interest of 10%.

Umba says it will use the funding to prepare to launch in new markets, including:

  • Egypt
  • Ghana
  • Kenya

Umba will also make some expansions product-wise, rolling out:

  • Debit cards
  • Savings accounts
  • Stock trading

in the next 18 months.

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RECOMMENDED READING: EXPLAINER: How the Massively Successful Safaricom M-PESA Agency Network is Driving Digital Banks in Kenya to Go Physical

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