Fundamo CEO.Hannes van Rensburg
Today, VISA Inc announced the acquisition of Fundamo (http://corporate.visa.com/media-center/press-releases/press1128.jsp). You would have read in recent posts that the industries largest players, continue to make large strategic moves in 2011. Today was very different, today VISA 100% acquired Fundamo. Yes, I know this blog is going to sound bias given I work for Fundamo. But I assure you, my person opinion prevails here.
Fundamo has worked hard to develop themselves as an industry leader in the Mobile Financial Services space under the guidance of industry heavy weight, Hannes van Rensburg. They've endured multiple iterations within the industry, as it moved from experimental first movers, to the mature enterprise platforms we see today. The GSMA recognises their customer Celpay in Zambia, as the oldest Mobile Money operation in the world, pre-dating M-Pesa, G-Cash and Wizzit. Fundamo's poster child has always been the deal with MTN Group, which saw Fundamo technology deployed in multiple countries. This was a partnership that fused the might of a Mobile Operator Group in multiple emerging markets, with the thought leadership of the team at Fundamo. Thus creating one of the world's leading multi-country Mobile Money businesses, something M-Pesa has been unable to achieve with Vodafone, and Orange still struggles with.
VISA on the other hand operates the largest payments network in the world with roughly 40% of the worlds Credit Card market and just of 60% of the debit card market. Recent years have seen VISA push deeper into emerging markets with PrePaid products, such as their deployment into Pakistan for the distribution of flood relief funds. VISA has also launched products such as VMT (VISA Money Transfer) which taps into the P2P markets. They also recently invested in CyberSource and PlaySpan, adding to their partnerships with Monitise & Device Fidelity.
The acquisition of Fundamo integrates a industry leading mobile financial services platform, with existing presence in countries across Africa and Asia, into Visa’s global network. Thus bringing to market the first open door for the previously closed loop payments ecosystems that have dominated Mobile Payments to date. Creating a new market potential, far greater than VISA has seen before, and creating a tipping point to drive consumer adoption of mobile as a payment instrument. This move is a true game changer. It means that VISA products can now be extended to the 4 billion plus mobile users world wide, including the highly aspirational emerging nations with greater the 100 Million population.
This announcement when coupled with VISA's complementary assets in the industry is sure to be a success. It essentially gives them all the tools they need to deliver on their May 11th announcement, VISA unveils next generation electronic payments (http://corporate.visa.com/media-center/press-releases/press1124.jsp) only with Fundamo, it now has the footprint to drive deep into emerging economies. Exciting times ahead