Digital Payments Company Umba Raises $15M in Funding Round

A digital payments company founded by Tiernan Kennedy and Barry O’Mahony has raised $15m (€13.9m) from Dublin-based venture capital firm ACT and numerous other investors.

mba primarily operates in Nigeria, where the use of digital money is growing rapidly as less than half of the population has a bank account.

Umba offers free bill payment features, person-to-person and bank-to-bank transfers, and access to loans. It charges a monthly interest rate of 10pc.

Based in San Francisco, where Mr. Kennedy lives, Umba raised $2 million in seed funding three years ago.

Other participants in the funding round include Nubank, Monzo co-founder Tom Blomfield, Lux Capital, Streamlined Ventures and former Stripe Issuing head Lachy Groom. The round was led by California-based investment firm Costanoa Ventures.

The company claims to have 1 million installs from the Google Play Store. Mr Kennedy, the company’s CEO, told US website TechCrunch that Umba was doubling its revenue every three months. He said the company wanted to serve multiple markets and aimed to roll out debit cards, savings accounts and stock trading systems by the end of next year.

“This is an important milestone for Umba, and we are excited to bring in new partners to fuel our growth,” Mr. Kennedy said. “There is great potential for Umba to provide useful and accessible products and services that financially empower underserved customers. There is a generational shift underway in banking, and customers stand to benefit massively from the transition to fully digital services. »

Mr Kennedy is a former CTO of dating app PearUp, while Mr O’Mahony previously worked for British fintech Tola Mobile.

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