Mambu Startup Obtains Funds to Expand its Microfinance Service
Mambu was born four years ago as the result of an idea from a Master project, developed as part of the Carnegie Mellon Portugal Program, funded by Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, and is now starting to succeed in the microfinance world. The startup that provides microfinance technology services recently received 2 million dollars (around 1.5 million euros) from Runa Capital, Point Nine (PNC) and Kizoo (three technology - focused venture capital companies) to accelerate global adoption.
The funds will allow the team headed by Eugene Danilkis (Canadá), Sofia Nunes (Portugal) and Frederik Pfisterer (Germany) to increase their microfinance team of experts, push product development and expand their global community. The three founders, one of them from Portugal, took a master’s degree in Human-Computer Interaction at the Universidade da Madeira and Carnegie Mellon University, within the Madeira ITI. This is where Mambu was born.
For Sofia Nunes, the support and background of these institutions was essential for the founders to start paving their own way. “Carnegie Mellon University and the Universidade da Madeira created an environment that gave us the courage, confidence and initial experience to start on this road. Our professors in Pittsburgh boosted our entrepreneurial spirit and supported us in the very early days to start exploring the idea of creating a company. And Madeira provided an environment where we became friends, learned, struggled and solved problems together. We formed relationships which were essential for getting through the many long and tough days of the early stages of a company," she stated.
The cloud based technology helps spread microfinance, allowing organizations to provide the service in an easier, faster and cheaper way, reaching more clients who need it. Mambu combines the power of emerging services such as mobile money and agent networks with an affordable, modern and online information platform.
The Berlin based company was launched in May 2011 and it currently has more than 70 micro-finance organizations in 20 countries using its SaaS, reaching over 200,000 customers, and processing thousands of transactions each day. Online, fast and secure, every day the company’s software-as-a-service solution helps microfinance organizations run their operations and process transactions, in an economic context where the need for microfinance is increasing in emerging markets and being perceived by academics and public politics as a serious issue.
“I am very excited for having the support of PNC and Runa and for what this investment will allow us to achieve,” Eugene Danilkis said referring to the financial aid provided by the two companies. “Other than the financial resources that will allow us to increase our team and improve our product, we also have the experience and contacts of many successful individuals supporting us,” he added. The support given by PNC and Runa will allow three billion people to access essential financial services.
“We built Mambu with the goal of changing the landscape of microfinance” is stated on the company’s website. And this is exactly what they are doing. As a Bamboo plant (whose name inspired the name of the company), the fastest growing plant in the world, the company only needs to ensure that there is no water shortage or, in other words, that all the right conditions are met for Mambu to keep growing.