SA fintech startup Nomanini raises $4m in round led by Standard Bank

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South African fintech startup Nomanini has raised a US$4 million funding round led by Standard Bank to help it scale further across Africa.

Founded in 2010, Nomanini has developed a platform that enables informal merchants and micro-entrepreneurs in emerging markets to distribute digital goods such as airtime and prepaid electricity.

The startup, which also offers micro-loans to merchants and operates in markets such as Ghana and Mozambique, has raised a US$4 million funding round led by Standard Bank, Africa’s largest bank, and completed by Goodwell Investments, an Amsterdam-based investment firm.

Nomanini, which with previous funding from Goodwell and Fundamo founder Hannes Van Rensburg has now raised over US$6 million, will now expand across Africa via a mobile application launched by Standard Bank. The app provides access to new lines of business, credit and savings services for millions of informal merchants across 15 African countries, namely South Africa, Zambia, Mozambique, Uganda, Malawi, Angola, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania, eSwatini, Lesotho and Botswana.

The partnership also allows Nomanini to add merchant financing to its existing service offering, with the company planning 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,” said Vahid Monadjem, founder and chief executive officer (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.”

Standard Bank, meanwhile, will use the Nomanini platform to unearth previously unavailable data on the informal retail economy.

“The reality is, around 86 per cent 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 at 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.”

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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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