- Website: www.ilovezoona.com
- Sector: Financial Services
- Countries of operations: Zambia and Malawi
Success in the transfer market
Zoona exists to help communities thrive. That’s how CEO Mike Quinn describes a company that has established a money-transfer business with a network of 1,500 franchise agents in Zambia and Malawi. Through its agents, the firm has signed up more than 1.5 million customers who have sent and received more than $1.2bn over the network.
“Our core service is to help people send and receive money when they most need to do so,” explains Mike. “We start by identifying emerging entrepreneurs and providing them with a franchise ‘business-in-a-box’ solution to make money and serve their communities as Zoona agents and tellers.”
“We start by identifying emerging entrepreneurs and providing them with a franchise ‘business-in-a-box’ solution to make money and serve their communities”
Mike Quinn, CEO, Zoona
The company, which was launched in 2009 by two brothers, Brad and Brett Magrath, has made a point of focusing on recruiting women as agents. Mike says: “We specifically focus on young women who can multiply our impact by becoming role models in their communities.” Through its services, Zoona is also helping its customers address some of Africa’s more persistent problems, such as a high unemployment rate and a lack of access to formal financial services. The business itself has had to overcome some difficult times, such as when Zambia suffered a currency crisis in 2015. A $2m bridging loan from its investors helped the company make it through the financial crisis.
Since then, the firm has further boosted its finances by securing a $15m funding round in August 2016, which included backing from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), Accion and Omidyar Network. Two months after that influx of capital, Zoona began rolling out its operations in Mozambique – and now it is targeting further expansion. “Within the next five years we plan to expand our presence across Africa and also broaden our product offering to a suite of financial service products,” says Mike. “We anticipate growing our workforce by more than ten times during this period.”
Through its services, Zoona is helping its customers address some of Africa’s more persistent problems.
- 1.5m - How many Zoona customers have sent or received money via the network