Mobile money platform Pngme raises $3M to expand across Africa

The fintech firm hopes to expand financial products for the unbanked.

Africa-focused but U.S. based unified financial data platform Pngme this week announced its successful seed funding round raised $3 million.

The investment was led by Radical Ventures, Raptor Group, Lateral Capital, and EchoVC. It was actually closed in the third quarter of 2020 and came after the fintech startup raised $500,000 in a pre-seed round in 2018.

The platform collects user-permissioned data through a partner’s existing mobile app using a one-click data-sharing feature which then delivers real-time financial data and alerts.

Pngme hopes to tap into the burgeoning mobile money market in Africa that was kicked off with M-Pesa in 2007. Launched in Kenya, M-Pesa is a mobile banking service that allows users to store and transfer money through their mobile phones, largely targeting a massive population of unbanked citizens in the sub-Saharan region.

Pngme has been aggregating financial data from mobile users and sharing it with banks and financial institutions. The firm has recognized that consumers are growing increasingly aware of their finances and demanding more data.

Speaking to TechCrunch, company co-founder Brendan Playford stated;

“We’re hyper-focused on providing the highest real-time data coverage on credit-invisible customers, something that no other API is offering in our markets,”

“Credit invisible” means that a person lacks a credit history and is therefore invisible to a lender.

The CEO added that the company plans to integrate with large institutional banks next month.

Pngme saw 300% month-on-month growth across the fourth quarter of 2020 and forecasts the number of user-permissioned data profiles created on its platform to reach millions by 2022.

Co-founder Cate Rung commented on the rapid growth of mobile money in the region, adding that it could pave the way for so many new financial products for the end consumer.

“What I think is most exciting is the way mobile money leapfrogged any sort of traditional financial infrastructure.”

Cardano founder Charles Hoskinson has predicted that a DeFi revolution will take place in the developing world, acquiring 100 million users within the next three years by tapping into the market potential on continents such as Africa.

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