Nomanini raises series-A funding from eVA fund and Esther Dyson

01 OCTOBER 2012, CAPE TOWN/AMSTERDAM/NEW YORK
Summary
Nomanini raised series-A funding from Netherlands based eVentures Africa Fund (eVA Fund) and Esther Dyson. The funds will enable Nomanini to roll out its proprietary, cloud-enabled system in South Africa and, with eVA Fund's established pan-African network, begin further pilots across Africa. By March, Nomanini will have facilitated over 1 million transactions in South Africa’s informal economy.

Nomanini CEO Vahid Monadjem started the company to bring the power of the mobile revolution to the communities that have the most to gain from it. This month Nomanini raised series-A funding from Netherlands based eVentures Africa Fund (eVA Fund) and Esther Dyson. The funds will enable Nomanini to roll out its proprietary, cloud-enabled system in South Africa and, with eVA Fund's established pan-African network, begin further pilots across Africa. By March, Nomanini will have facilitated over 1 million transactions in South Africa’s informal economy.

Nomanini enables informal market entrepreneurs to earn income selling prepaid vouchers in their local communities. Share-taxi drivers, street vendors or informal retailers - local entrepreneurs - use Nomanini terminals to sell prepaid vouchers and earn on-going profit. The terminals are designed specifically for use in the informal markets. The potential is huge: South Africa alone has 150 000 share taxi drivers and over 1 million street vendors. The rest of Africa and other emerging markets present even greater  opportunities many times larger.

Nomanini means “anytime” in Zulu. Nomanini’s portable, user-friendly terminals facilitate the sale of a broad range of prepaid products, in any place, at anytime. Nomanini makes electronic and financial services available to consumers in emerging markets. Nomanini recognises that prepaid vouchers, typically used in mobile telecommunications, can be used to provide access to other services such as electricity, insurance and savings plans. Nomanini has already started serving prepaid mobile airtime and is currently testing new prepaid electricity vouchers.

Nomanini’s progress to date shows that prepaid vouchers are a highly effective way to collect micro-payments for the provision of services in emerging markets. Vouchers reduce transaction friction for both the consumer and the vendor. Vendors want fast, easy transactions and consumers want convenience and availability. Due to difficulty in distributing vouchers in informal and rural markets, prices are inflated and consumers with the lowest income often end up paying the most for essential services such as electricity and telecommunications.

Nomanini has already launched in South Africa, with entrepreneurs earning by selling prepaid vouchers. In so doing, these entrepreneurs are  keeping money in their communities. Some entrepreneurs have taken Nomanini terminals deep into rural areas, pulled by latent demand. Clearly local entrepreneurs have the best sense for local demand and with this funding in place, Nomanini will continue to support them.

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About eVentures Africa Fund

eVentures Africa Fund (eVA Fund) is dedicated to mobilizing capital and experience in the Netherlands/Europe to invest in small and medium sized African internet and mobile related companies. eVA Fund focuses on development in terms of capital and business development support, i.e. knowledge, experience, access to proven business concepts/applications, and network.

The target region is sub-Saharan Africa. Website: www.eva-fund.com

About Esther Dyson

Esther Dyson does business as EDventure Holdings. She is an independent angel investor who specializes in new technologies, new business models and new markets - now including Africa as well as the US and Russia, and health care, human capital and commercial space flight. She sits on the boards of such investments as 23andMe (genetics), Evernote, Meetup, WPP Group, XCOR Aerospace and Yandex (Russia).

Quotes
"Nomanini fits with eVA's mandate to close the digital divide in Africa. Across Africa we see innovative local services being developed. They require a means to collect micro-payments to thrive in their markets. This is the vital problem that Nomanini solves." Vincent Kouwenhoven of eVA Fund
"What excites me about Nomanini is that we are not just investing in devices and a business model, we are also investing in people. We are training our vendors so that they can become more productive businesspeople - and so that Nomanini can scale on the basis of a network of increasingly sophisticated resellers. That way we can grow rapidly - but without becoming a commodity service." Esther Dyson of EDventure Holdings
About Nomanini

As the pioneering fintech platform for the informal retail ecosystem, Nomanini connects merchants and distributors to each other and global service providers, integrating payments, working capital, and data analytics to unlock the latent potential of Africa’s economy.

Nomanini turns any mobile device into a retail point-of-sale solution for informal merchants that is connected to an interoperable merchant wallet. The interoperable merchant wallet allows merchants to offer a broad range of digital banking (including cash-in/cash-out), mobile, utility and entertainment services to their customers boosting competitiveness. In turn, digital service providers rapidly increase the scale and reach of their offerings. By generating real-time insights based on transaction data, distributors using the platform gain a single view of their merchant network, ensuring inventory is where it is needed most to improve sales. Distributors can also begin to accept payments for goods electronically, eliminating the risk and inefficiency of collecting cash. With data analytics, Nomanini helps extend working capital loans to merchants via distributors allowing them to invest in inventory to grow their businesses. The increased volume of goods and services set against reduced operational friction increases the profits for all platform participants.

Nomanini was founded in 2010 and is headquartered in South Africa.

For more information, please visit https://www.nomanini.com

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