Janngo Gets €1m Seed Funding to Grow African SMEs
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Janngo has announced successfully closing its first funding round, launching its Paris and Abidjan offices and unveiling its strategy of building digital ecosystems in Africa during Paris Tech for Good Summit and Viva Technology.
This €1 million seed funding will enable Janngo launch and grow new digital platforms targeting African SMEs while creating tech-enabled jobs at scale for women and youth.
According to founder and CEO of Janngo, Fatoumata Bâ, “With Janngo, we want to empower African SMEs, leveraging technology to improve access to market and business performance. We build turnkey solutions to support their growth, access new market opportunities, build capacity, improve their productivity and boost their competitiveness.”
The firm plans to launch digital solutions tackling challenges faced by African SMEs with the company demonstrating its ability to attract both African and international capital with a pool of experimented investors including Mulliez Family, a family office with a long-term patrimonial vision; Clipperton, a leading independent Investment bank fully focused on high growth Technology companies and backed by Natixis; and Soeximex, leader in international trading supporting access to consumer goods in West Africa for more than 5 decades and specialized in commodity and vehicles trading.
“We are excited to be leading Janngo’s first funding round as they embark on a journey of building world-class digital services for SMEs, at the backbone of African economies. With this investment, we demonstrate again our vision of enabling passionate entrepreneurs promoting innovation that make sense and creating a larger and long-term impact on the whole ecosystem.
“We have recently opened an office in Nairobi which illustrates our commitment and trust in Africa” comments Benoît Leclercq, President of Pole Innovation Metiers of Mulliez Family.
“Clipperton supports Janngo since inception. It’s unusual for investment bankers to join a seed round but Janngo has achieved unanimous backing, a great testimony of the quality of their vision combined with the team’s track record and execution capabilities.
“We see them as a potential tech champion in Africa, in line with our core focus and positioning as technology experts for high growth tech companies with global ambitions,” explains Nicolas von Bulow, Managing Partner at Clipperton.
“Soeximex Group is very proud to be backing Janngo. We were not only convinced by the relevance of their vision but also by the strong social component of their approach. Our African roots motivate us to endeavour to give back to this amazing continent, while contributing to build robust business models, capable of delivering economic performance for the ecosystem,” highlights Christel Dagher Hayeck, Senegalese-born Director of Soeximex.
“We are extremely proud to have been able to bring together this quality of investors onboard, committed to delivering our vision of technology as a lever of betterment of our society. They come with a unique blend of expertise as leaders in their respective fields combined with a long term vision and commitment to Africa, a strong mission alignment and values fit, solid operational synergies and evergreen funding, particularly critical for Africa where patient capital is needed to deliver sustainable impact.
“The successful closing of our €1 million seed funding is only a first step towards delivering our long term vision,” adds Fatoumata Bâ, Founder & CEO of Janngo.
Combining the very best of marketplaces and SAAS business models to serve the real economy, with an inclusive approach has been an ongoing passion turned into reality by Fatoumata Bâ, Founder of Jumia in Côte d’Ivoire, previously Managing Director of Jumia in Nigeria and Member of Jumia Executive Committee at Africa level, having driven the performance of up to 130 websites and mobile apps across the continent in more than 30 countries, with an impact of more than 3000 direct jobs, 70 000 indirect jobs and opportunities created for hundreds of thousands of SMEs in Africa.
African SMEs represent up to 17 percent of the GDP but face fragmented markets, prohibitively expensive operational costs, under optimized and non-integrated supply chains with limited access to international markets, insufficient capacity and limited access to capital to scale their business; yet, they generate more than 85% of jobs on the continent, with major untapped opportunities. With fast growing markets such as Côte d’Ivoire consistently delivering a record 8% growth, a booming middle class, a continent home to more 1 million inhabitant cities than Europe already and mobile leapfrog pioneers such as Nigeria, with the highest number of mobile internet users worldwide.
“We strongly believe that our central thesis of being a technology-driven backer of African SMEs is a powerful lever to accelerate growth, owing to their preponderant role in the larger economy.
“That’s why Janngo mobilizes both technology and capital, providing solutions to grow their business, win additional markets, further build their capacity, accelerate their growth and enable their market expansion to ultimately become national, regional or pan-African champions,” explains Fatoumata Bâ.
In a context where African countries are getting ready to tackle an unprecedented demographic challenge with more than 900 millions of jobs needed to absorb the growing labor pool by 2030, Janngo develops a double bottom-line approach boosting value creation from African start-ups and SMEs while contributing to the economic empowerment of women and youth.
“This is most likely our bigger challenge and best answer to the sense of urgency : create, via our platforms and our ecosystem of SMEs, directly and indirectly, qualified jobs at scale enabling as many women and young individual to earn their living with stable and recurring income.
“Many African countries are recording record high GDP growth at a global level but these numbers need to be translated into concrete improvement of population living conditions, higher disposable income and more job opportunities.
“If we manage, through Janngo, to generate long-term job opportunities at scale, especially for women and youth, while creating more opportunities for thousands of African SMEs in the coming years, then only we would be able to say that our mission is accomplished. It’s our North and the cement of our team,” concludes Fatoumata Bâ.