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Author: Ollen Machimbirike

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Date: 21 March 2016

Ted Pietrzak joined South African fintech group Jumo

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Former Chief Technology Officer at eBay subsidiary Magento, Ted Pietrzak (pictured right), joined South African fintech group Jumo in 2016 as Vice President of Engineering to help develop its systems to further financial inclusion in Africa. The appointment is said to mark the first American platform level CTO to be recruited by an African company. Headquartered in Cape Town with an office in Nairobi, Jumo has attracted a concentration of data and technology pioneers from across Africa, including talent from Amazon, Google, GE and Rocket Internet. The fintech group is also backed by leading investors in the sector including Leapfrog, GEMCORP and Vostok Emerging Finance.
Headed by South African-born entrepreneur Andrew Watkins-Ball (CEO and Founder) (pictured left), who sold Gateway Telecommunications for USD 675 million in 2008, Jumo is on a grand mission to leapfrog financial services in Africa by banking on the region’s high mobile penetration rates.
The company estimates that while 80% of people in sub-Saharan Africa do not have access to traditional financial services, there are over 170 million mobile wallet accounts in Africa. To meet this demand, Jumo facilitates financial access through mobile wallets, with no need of a bank account, physical infrastructure or collateral. Its first offering, called Access, enables entrepreneurs, small businesses and individuals to access loans using just their mobile phones. The service is backed by algorithms which assess mobile wallet and GSM usage to determine the suitability of loans.
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