Umba, a digital bank with a mission to bring a wide range of transparent and accessible financial products across Africa has raised a $15M Series A to continue their rapid growth and expand into new African Markets. The round was led by Costanoa Ventures and joined by Lux Capital, Palm Drive Capital, Banana Capital, Chandaria Capital and Streamlined Ventures as well as previous investors including Lachy Groom and ACT Ventures. The company also received new angel investment from neo-banking pioneers such as Monzo founder Tom Blomfield and executives from NuBank. The company has raised a total of $17.5M to date and has experienced rapid growth since their seed round in late 2020, doubling revenue every three months as well as growing their team across four locations.
This new funding will allow Umba to expand its current operations and product offerings, as well as
prepare to launch in new markets. Over the next 12 months Umba is set to roll out new products
including debit cards, savings accounts and stock trading to enable their customers to take control of
their financial lives.
Umba CEO, Tiernan Kennedy, commented, “This is a great milestone for Umba, and we’re excited
to bring in new partners to fuel our growth. Mark Selcow at Costanoa Ventures is a seasoned
operator and investor who brings extensive company building experience to our Board. There is
great potential for Umba to provide useful, accessible products and services that financially
empower underserved customers. There’s a generational shift happening in banking and customers
stand to benefit massively from the move to fully digital services”.
Legacy African banks are costly, inaccessible and inconvenient. This has contributed to huge
portions of the population left unbanked – only 43% of Sub-Saharan Africa’s population are account
holders at financial institutions.
As these regions have experienced rapid growth of mobile usage over the past 18 months, the
growing populations across Africa should have access to the best financial services and tools at their
fingertips. While smartphone adoption has grown to 50%, most mobile money applications in these
regions only allow basic services. Umba overcomes this by providing accessibility to those who
previously had limited banking options. It offers customers an unparalleled, full mobile banking
application, opening up a range of new financial services that are transparent, low fee and informed
by analytics to intelligently service customers. Features include free bank accounts, interbank
transfers, peer-to-peer money transfers, bill payments and credit products.
Umba plans to launch virtual debit cards and savings accounts soon- without needing to levy punitive fees.
“We’re extremely excited to lead this round and join the Umba team on their journey. This team
consistently executes, and it shows in their 2021 growth. The opportunity to build the largest digital
bank in Africa is one we didn’t want to miss. This market shows no sign of slowing any time soon.” –
Mark Selcow, Costanoa Ventures.
Umba has recently added several key hires to their team from established fintech companies.
Executives include the ex-CFO of Interswitch (Nigeria’s first unicorn), the CTO and CAO from
Calypso Technology, and senior staff from Carbon and Zynga. They will continue to hire top talent
across the company to support its strong growth throughout the year