- Julaya, an Ivorian payments fintech startup, has raised an additional $5 million in a pre-Series A round, bringing the total amount raised in this round to $7 million.
- Speedinvest led the pre-Series A extension round. EQ2 Ventures, Kibo Ventures, Unpopular Ventures, Jedar Capital, Orange Ventures, Saviu, 50 Partners, Mohamed Diabi, and Édouard Mendy also participated in the round.
- Currently present in Ivory Coast and Senegal, the company also received funding from its CFO and country manager in Senegal.
Mathias Léopoldie (CEO) and Charles Talbot founded the company to facilitate B2B payments for businesses in Francophone West Africa, primarily through mobile money channels.
While small and large businesses can use the platform to make bulk payments via existing mobile money channels, they can now access more services, such as the startup's Mastercard-issued prepaid card for corporate expense management.
The cards are also designed to meet the needs of businesses for travel, other online expenses, and the easy import of transactions into their accounting systems.
According to Léopoldie, the company's strategy with the cards is to provide a full range of services because having just cards may not allow them to build a great startup with as much traction as they would like.
In the last year, the company has also expanded its product offering to include a "Cash & Collect" solution that enables "fast and secure" cash collection, particularly in the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) sector.
Businesses can deposit cash from physical and field sales into their Julaya account at a mobile money agent branch instead of going to a bank.
Moreover, Julaya claims that over 40% of its 500 small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), startups, large corporations, and government institutions use its corporate expense management feature.
While medium to large businesses account for most volumes, the CEO says the Ivorian-French startup has seen greater adoption from traditional and non-digitised small clients.
The company will use the funds to help fintech expand further across Francophone West Africa, with plans to open offices in Benin, Togo, and Burkina Faso.
It will also use the funds to hire talent and boost product development.