Juvo raises $40 million to bring financial inclusion to emerging markets
San Francisco-based startup Juvo wants to help mobile users in emerging markets improve their financial standing by combining data and identity to provide micro-loans. It’s an ambitious goal, and to help achieve it, the company has raised $40 million in funding led by NEA and Wing Venture Capital.
Juvo joins companies like Branch and Tala in bringing financial services to the underserved in developing markets. But how Juvo differentiates is by working with mobile operators as the entry point to its relationship with the consumer. It does this by offering micro-loans to pre-paid mobile customers when they are short on data or minutes.
In many developing markets, mobile users operate on pre-paid plans which they top off every couple of days, often by purchasing more talk time or data at a nearby store. That means the mobile operators don’t have any relationship with the end user, but it also means consumers can run out of data at inopportune times.