Julaya, an Ivoria fintech startup, has raised a $2 million pre-Series A funding to expand its payment products across francophone West Africa.

The fintech startup had previouly raised a pre-seed investment of $250,000 in 2018 and a seed investment of $550,000 a year later from angel investors.

The new funding came from Orange Ventures, MFS Africa Frontiers, Saviu Ventures, Launch Africa and 50 Partners Capital; as well as some angel investors in Africa and Europe. Julaya will use the investment to broaden its market share in Ivory Coast and launch digital payment products and expand across West Africa.  

Founded in 2018 by Mathias Léopoldie (CEO) and Charles Talbot (CTO), Julaya provides African businesses with a digital account to make payments, disbursing mobile money transactions to their employees, suppliers, and owning their own virtual and physical prepaid cards.

Commenting, Talbot said: “Mobile money is coming to a mature stage where business and public institution use-cases provide new growth opportunities for the sector. The pandemic has opened up minds about the urge to digitize payments. Fintech competition in West Africa is making digital finance more affordable for consumers, and technical integrations with telecom operators are becoming more reliable.”  

“Fintech’s environment in Africa is distinguished by its competitiveness and strong dynamism. Orange Group, through its technology investment fund, intends to participate in this boom by supporting fintechs such as Julaya. The goal is to target local technology champions at the service of the transition to a more digital and responsible world,” said Habib Bamba, the director of Transformation, digital and media at Orange Ivory Coast.

“This sounds like an overheard statement, but we understand that what the customer values most is reliable customer support and a predictable and smooth online experience, for instance, a reliable platform with very little downtime,” he said. “Even if you only have a 90% success rate on your transactions, as long as you give this information in a transparent communication to the customer, they will trust you.”

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