Goodwell Investments has acquired a significant minority stake in Musoni Services, the innovative cloud-based core banking software for microfinance institutions. Musoni Services is one of the first companies to leverage cloud computing and Software-As-A-Service to dramatically change the landscape of financial services in Africa.
A solid core banking system is essential for the efficiency and cost structure of every microfinance institution (MFI) around the globe. Large system-providers are presently far too expensive for most MFIs and their service to smaller organizations is often substandard, more pertinent in an African context. Furthermore, MFI’s have traditionally struggled with high operational expenses related to IT, varying from air-conditioned server rooms and security. The rise of cloud-based computing and the concept of Software-As-A-Service (‘SAAS’) are drastically changing this landscape.
Musoni helps MFIs to reduce their costs, improve their efficiency and to expand faster into rural areas where the majority of the unbanked lived. The company’s innovative technology platform integrates seamlessly with mobile money technology, uses tablets and SMS messages for field based data capture and direct communication with clients, and takes advantage of the rise in internet connectivity to reduce hosting costs and headaches for MFIs. All this is done through a user friendly platform licensed at a fraction of the cost of traditional core banking systems. This allows the company to support MFIs along every step of the technology journey, starting with improving data quality and business processes, before moving on to SMS, mobile money, tablets and then beyond.
At the year-end of 2015 the Musoni System was licensed to 39 MFIs across 8 African countries and 1 MFI in Myanmar. Musoni Services aims to roll out its system to MFIs, asset-financiers and SACCOs across the world; with a particular focus on expanding into West Africa, starting with Ghana and Nigeria. Musoni’s primary target is MFIs serving between 10,000 and 50,000 clients.
Els Boerhof, partner at Goodwell Investments, said: ‘Our mission is to provide more people access to affordable and better quality basic goods and services, including financial services. Unfortunately most MFI’s can hardly afford, maintain or develop their IT systems. Musoni uses technology that supports MFI’s in reducing their costs while expanding their outreach. It is the continuous drive for improvement that makes Musoni stand out from traditional software providers that typically license a base version of a system, and then charge clients for any additional development.’
Cameron Goldie-Scot, Musoni’s CEO and co-founder, said: ‘Goodwell bring extensive experience of the microfinance industry, especially in West Africa, and a proven track record of investing in innovative financial services companies. They are an ideal investor for Musoni. The funds and relationships from Goodwell will be used to drive expansion into new markets and continue the company’s rapid growth.’
Musoni Services is a Dutch microfinance software company that supports MFIs and SACCOs with its innovative and award-winning microfinance platform, the Musoni System. Musoni is known for pioneering new technology in microfinance in order to improve efficiency and reduce costs, including mobile money, SMS reminders and tablet apps. As a result of pioneering new technology in microfinance, over the last few years the Musoni team has won multiple awards, including the award for ‘most innovative use of technology’ at the Global Microfinance Awards (July 2011), the Frost and Sullivan award for ‘Technology Leadership’ (August 2014), and most recently nominated for the 2016 European FinTech Awards.
Goodwell Investments provides early stage growth capital and hands-on support to providers of basic goods and services for the majority world in sub-Saharan Africa and India. Local entrepreneurs are best placed to shape an inclusive economy that allows all stakeholders to benefit from growth. Goodwell is able to identify the most promising initiatives due to its presence on the ground with teams in India, Nigeria, Ghana and South Africa. Since 2007, Goodwell has supported the growth of over 20 microfinance and mobile payment companies. Through them, Goodwell reaches out to over 9 million households whilst at the same time delivering excellent financial returns to investors.