Nomanini raises funding from impact investment firm Goodwell

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South Africa-based enterprise payments platform provider Nomanini has raised an undisclosed round of funding from impact investment firm Goodwell Investments, just the latest investment obtained by the rapidly expanding company.

The investment in Nomanini is the second on-the-ground investment made by Goodwell Investments in South Africa – after WhereIsMyTransport – from its EUR50 million (US$57 million) uMunthu fund, which is targeting startups and high growth companies in fintech space in Sub-Saharan Africa.

It is the second major development at Nomanini in just a few weeks, after last month’s confirmation that Fundamo founder Hannes Van Rensburg had joined its advisory board after making an investment.

Nomanini, which has developed a platform that facilitates cash transactions in informal markets, allowing enterprises to bolster mobile airtime and electricity distribution channels, has total raised capital of over US$2.3 million, and is rapidly expanding into other markets.

“The funds and relationship with Goodwell will be used to build towards a larger funding round to fuel the company’s explosive growth,” said Nomanini chief executive officer (CEO) Vahid Monadjem.

“Goodwell is an ideal investor to bring on board at this juncture. They have a proven track record investing in innovative financial services companies, experience supporting fast-scaling teams, deep networks in the fintech sector and share our values to bring services to the underserved.”

Wim van der Beek, managing partner at Goodwell Investments, said the impact investing firm – which already has three funds fully invested – is targeting startups at the early growth stage with high scalability and promoting financial inclusion through technology, hence its interest in Nomanini.

“We expect a lot from their platform and their team. We only invest in companies and teams that have demonstrated a strong capability and growth potential. That is the case with Nomanini,” he said.

Van der Beek said Goodwell’s core criteria included not only the impact of the solution but also its ability to scale.

“We believe Nomanini could become a global provider of a range of services for the informal retail market. It provides a solution that can be applied in all “majority markets”, though in Africa alone the sheer size of the addressable market is attractive,” he said.

“Nomanini’s micro-payment platform is flexible and can grow with its clients to include not only airtime but also insurance, energy and other services to improve access to affordable products and services for low income households.”

Goodwell currently has close to EUR100 million (US$114 million) assets under management, with 18 portfolio companies in Africa and India serving more than nine million clients. The goal of the uMunthu fund is to raise EUR50 million from high net worth individuals, family offices, institutional investors and development institutions, to make individual investments of between EUR250,000 (US$284,000) and EUR5 million (US$5.7 million) in companies improving financial inclusion in Africa.

“We are not a traditional investor sitting in an office. We have a structure that is based on local teams that know local customs. That allows us to select the best companies and provide hands-on support to their management. In the early growth stages we are highly involved with the team and in key processes,” Van der Beek said.

 “We believe that we can contribute to a better world by offering people better economic opportunities. That drives our business. But our criteria and processes are the same as with regular private equity and venture capital. Our track record demonstrates that. Our returns are excellent, better than many other VC funds.”

He said financial inclusion created opportunities, as being able to transact, transfer, save or borrow money are core elements of becoming included in the economy.

“But then you need a solid financial company to offer you the opportunity to do that, and to do that efficiently. That is why we invest in companies like Nomanini,” he said.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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