Nomanini secures series B funding from Rockbridge Investment Limited

Congratulations to VC4Africa member Nomanini! We featured them in 2012 when they secured their series A round, and this week they announce the closing of their series B! With new investments from Seychelles ­based investment company Rockbridge Investments Limited, Nomanini will expand its prepaid platform across and outside Africa.

Nomanini is a social enterprise based in South Africa, providing technology for the distribution of prepaid services. Nomanini secured their series ­B funding from Seychelles­ based investment company Rockbridge Investments Limited this month. The latest financing brings the startup’s total raised capital to over ZAR 20 million, or USD 1.9 million.

In 2012, Nomanini raised USD 600 000 in series-A funding from Netherlands based eVentures Africa Fund (eVA Fund) as well as Esther Dyson — the angel investor who sits on the board of companies such as 23andMe, Evernote and Meetup.

Nomanini means “anytime” in Zulu. Nomanini’s portable, user-friendly terminals facilitate the sale of a broad range of prepaid products, in any place, at anytime, thus enabling informal market entrepreneurs to earn income selling prepaid vouchers in their local communities. Share-taxi drivers, street vendors or informal retailers – local entrepreneurs – use Nomanini terminals to sell prepaid vouchers and earn on-going profit. The terminals are designed specifically for use in the informal markets, and Nomanini recognises that prepaid vouchers, typically used in mobile telecommunications, can be used to provide access to other services such as electricity, insurance and savings plans.

Nomanini CEO Vahid Monadjem started the company to bring the power of the mobile revolution to the communities that have the most to gain from it. Nomanini partners with local enterprises in each market who create a locally relevant product on Nomanini’s prepaid platform. Launched in 2011, Nomanini is now active in South Africa, Kenya and Mozambique and currently expanding to Nigeria, Guinea and Somalia.

By 2015 there will be 1 billion mobile subscribers in Africa each spending an average of over $85 per year. While mobile is the mainstay, many other essential services such as electricity and water are starting to be distributed via prepaid vouchers. Nomanini’s prepaid cloud solution dramatically improves distribution of and access to prepaid services.

“At the moment we are at a very exciting inflection point, having proven our underlying technology and business model in multiple counties. We are growing fast,” said Monadjem. The funds will enable Nomanini to scale operations internationally, helping to streamline the fulfillment process, recruit talent needed to keep up with the necessary growth and develop the next generation of payment processing tools for informal retailers. “Our investment from Rockbridge provides the rocket fuel for Nomanini to scale our business across Africa and beyond. In addition, Nomanini will benefit from the enterprise B2B business development knowledge that Vandy brings to the table.”

Vandy Massey, Rockbridge Investments’ key adviser on the South African market adds: “Rockbridge has been looking for some time for the right investment in the mobile space in Africa. In Nomanini we found a company with the ideal mix of strong technology, robust business processes, and speed of delivery.” And she continued: “The decision to invest was based on Nomanini’s impressive track record of delivering an effective, customer­friendly solution for mobile top­up in Africa. On a personal level, I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work with such a dynamic, forward­thinking team”.

VC4Africa Pro Account Investor, Vincent Kouwenhoven from the eVA Fund comments “we are very pleased to have Rockbridge – with its roots in South Africa – as an active co-investor on board”.

Also see Nomanini’s VC4Africa venture profile

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