Julaya, a fintech startup based out of Ivory Coast, has reportedly announced a $2 million pre-Series A funding. The funding would supposedly facilitate the expansion of its products across West Africa.
It is worth noting that Julaya, which was launched to digitize trade payments, helps firms streamline accounting and enhance operational efficacy by digitizing payments made to suppliers and workers rather than making cash payments.
Julaya apparently allows institutions and businesses to disburse payments to mobile banking and mobile money wallets. To accomplish this, the company works with other fintech startups and telecom operators in the region, claim reliable sources.
Charles Talbot, one of the two founders of Julaya, stated that mobile money is reaching a mature stage where public as well as business institution use-cases offer new growth opportunities to the industry. Talbot added that the pandemic has broadened minds regarding the need for digitized payments.
Fintech competition in the West African region has made digital finance more affordable for consumers, Talbot claimed. He further added that technical integrations with telecom operators have become more reliable, as per reports.
Notably, Mathias Léopoldie, founder, Julaya, said that they face certain challenges from distribution channels, which makes it difficult for them to sell at affordable costs en masse. Léopoldie explained that another challenge arises from businesses finding it difficult to trust digitized payments, according to reports.
Reportedly, a wire transfer in Ivory Coast can take one to three days to complete and customers need to check payment status with the bank branch. Businesses apparently do not trust digital practices as they often have shortcomings.
Léopoldie said that educating the market about digital experiences poses a high cost on acquisition, and finding talents with a startup mindset is tough, reports suggest.
Julaya was founded by Léopoldie and Talbot in 2018, who had initially worked at LemonWay, the French payment fintech firm, in Burkina Faso and Mali, claim reliable sources.