Goodwell Investments has acquired a significant minority stake in Musoni Services, a provider of affordable, innovative, cloud-based core banking software for microfinance institutions. Musoni Services is one of the first companies to leverage cloud computing and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) to dramatically change the landscape of financial services in Africa.
A solid core banking system is essential for the efficiency and cost structure of every microfinance institution (MFI) around the globe. Large system-providers are presently far too expensive for most MFIs and their service to smaller organisations is often sub-standard.
Says Els Boerhof, partner at Goodwell Investments, “Our mission is to provide more people with access to affordable and better quality basic goods and services, including financial services. Unfortunately most MFIs can hardly afford, maintain or develop their IT systems. Musoni uses technology that supports MFIs in reducing their costs while improving efficiency and expanding their reach into rural areas.”
The company’s innovative technology platform integrates seamlessly with mobile money technology, uses tablets and SMS messages for field based data capture and direct communication with clients. It also takes advantage of the rise in internet connectivity to reduce hosting costs and headaches for MFIs.
All this is done through a user friendly platform licensed at a fraction of the cost of traditional core banking systems. This allows the company to support MFIs along every step of the technology journey, starting with improving data quality and business processes; before moving on to SMS, mobile money, tablets and beyond.
Says Boerhof, “It is the continuous drive for improvement that makes Musoni stand out from traditional software providers that typically license a base version of a system, and then charge clients for any additional development.”
By the end of 2015 the Musoni system was licensed to thirty-nine MFIs across eight African countries and one MFI in Myanmar. Musoni Services aims to roll out its system to MFIs, asset-financiers and SACCOs (Savings and Credit Co-operative) across the world; with a particular focus on expanding into West Africa, starting with Ghana and Nigeria. Musoni’s primary target is MFIs serving between 10,000 and 50,000 clients.
Says Cameron Goldie-Scot, Musoni’s CEO, “Goodwell bring extensive experience of the microfinance industry, especially in West Africa, and a proven track record of investing in innovative financial services companies. They are an ideal investor for Musoni. The funds and relationships from Goodwell will be used to drive expansion into new markets and continue the company’s rapid expansion.”