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Vumela invests in mobile technology for community based frontline workers

Vumela, a fund managed by FNB and Edge Growth, is proud to announce a R16m equity investment in Mobenzi, a mobile first technology company enabling greater efficiency in deploying donor funding to global social impact programmes.
Vumela invests in mobile technology for community based frontline workers

Kevin Blignaut, Investment Principal at Edge Growth, says that Vumela has partnered with Mobenzi due to the strong investment fundamentals and the talent, drive and dedication evident in the founders to build a company focused on delivering global impact. The team at Mobenzi have built an SA based company creating both local and international impact and is motivated by a “not only for profit” philosophy, which comes through in their attitude to work and their strategic partnerships.

There is increased focus on more efficient deployment of donor funding to social impact programmes (e.g. public health and education). This, combined with the inefficiencies of using paper based solutions, and the ubiquity of mobile devices worldwide, make mobile solutions ideal for community based frontline workers.

Mobenzi is a mobile first technology company. It has developed scalable and configurable mobile technology platforms for frontline workers in over 40 countries in health, education, research, agriculture and other sectors. The use of Mobenzi software empowers them to add significant value to their underserved communities, and informs the decision makers with accurate, verifiable and real time data. This creates a powerful impact value proposition which is attractive to an impact investor like Vumela.

Mobenzi is run by a strong founding team, focused on creating sustainable impact. They have close to a decade of experience in their field and have built a solid, global, blue chip client base. With their track record to date and what is on offer through Edge Growth’s 10X-e programme, Mobenzi has tremendous scalable potential.

Andi Friedman, CEO of Mobenzi, says: “What really attracted us to Vumela is that we weren’t just looking for venture capital to grow our business. We were looking for a partner who is fundamentally aligned with our impact philosophy and was interested in more than just the bottom line. Although we managed to grow to a team of 20+ and reach profitability by bootstrapping – we knew that we needed funding and support to achieve our vision of becoming a global platform for the ICT4D sector. With the Vumela funding we plan to step up the investment in our core software platforms, primarily to enable organisations and implementation partners to configure solutions themselves, rather than relying on our team. Where we’ve developed specific solutions in health and education which have already achieved significant traction, we intend to strengthen and expand these further. We ultimately want to see our platforms empower tens of thousands of frontline workers and millions of beneficiaries. “

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Vumela was established in 2009 by FNB Business Banking and Edge Growth to help alleviate poverty in South Africa by creating jobs through supporting the growth of SMEs. Vumela has R388M under management, from FirstRand and the Jobs Fund, and to date has deployed R175M to 15 early stage businesses, creating over 1000 permanent jobs, primarily for low to middle income individuals.

Edge Growth creates jobs by bridging the gap between corporates and entrepreneurs through tailored ESD solutions and fund management

Why Edge Growth?

  • Financially efficient sustainable solutions
  • Proven track record with most ESD funds under management
  • Multi-sector expertise and scale to deliver
  • Best-in-class results driven methodologies
  • Access to additional SME funding and corporate contracts

If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Linda Erasmus at +27 10 001 3715 or email at moc.htworgegde@sumsarel.

2 May 2017 15:11