Fundamo founder, Hannes Van Rensburg has joined the advisory board of Nomanini, a South African-based, enterprise technology transactions platform provider, saying the company is well placed to be a market leader within a niche space.
The company’s platform facilitates cash transactions in informal markets, allowing enterprises to bolster their mobile airtime and electricity distribution channels and monitor micropayments in frontier markets across Africa and beyond.
With Fundamo, Van Rensburg built one of the world’s most advanced and sophisticated mobile financial service platforms, deployed in more than 34 countries across Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Having sold the company to Visa in 2011 for US$110 million, he will now be lending his expertise to Nomanini as an advisor to the board of directors. Van Rensburg said the quality of Nomanini’s management team and the company’s execution of its targeted strategy puts it in a strong position to be a market leader within the growing mobile transactions space.
“As online financial transacting is picking up, and more and more people are using mobile to transact, there is a clear niche of participants in this payment ecosystem serving the mid-sized retailer,” he said. “In emerging markets a big percentage of the economy is going through these shops and to expect them to only use mobile phones to transact is unrealistic. We need a different device or mechanism, one that is affordable, reliable, easy to use and efficient. In that space, I have not seen anyone design and deliver it better than Nomanini.”
Van Rensburg said his involvement would be “humble”, as Nomanini was already a well capitalised company with a strong team and good product. He said he would offer his experience as the company looked to establish a strong position for itself within the mobile payments space.
A market leader within a niche space
South Africa alone has more than 100,000 ‘spaza’ shops – informal convenience stores – turning over an estimated US$600 million per year, while half the world’s population makes purchases from small shops and street hawkers.
CEO of Nomanini, Vahid Monadjem, said van Rensburg’s experience of growing Fundamo would be helpful to Nomanini as it looked to replicate Fundamo’s success.
“Nomanini, being in the payments in emerging markets space, is in markets tangential to Fundamo’s. Hannes has experience in scaling an innovative organisation and expanding its client base across dozens of countries. He is wonderfully candid about what worked and also what didn’t. His experience and forthrightness, combined with shared values to serve underserved markets, makes him a great addition to our team,” he said.