Juvo Raises $40 Million in Series B for the Financially Underserved

San Francisco-based Juvo, a provider of mobile identity scoring, has announced a fresh $40 billion in Series B funding from investors led by New Enterprise Associates and Wing Venture Capital. The round brings the Silicon Valley startup’s total capital raised to $54 million, with existing investors including Freestyle Capital and the former CEOs of AT&T, Sprint, NYSE, Telefonica Int., and Vodaphone, all of whom participated in the round.

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Juvo was founded in 2014 by serial entrepreneur Steve Polsky, former founder, president and COO of Flixster. The company seeks to bring financial services to the underserved in developing markets, working with mobile operators as the entry point to its relationship with the consumer. The startup allows individuals who use prepaid phone cards to build credit and a financial identity by offering micro-loans to customers when they are short on data or minutes.

In contrast to the U.S., where mobile data is typically included in a monthly plan, sometimes with automatic overage charges, in many countries around the world, consumers need to top off data every few days at a local store or kiosk. As a result, individuals often run out of data at inopportune times, which is where the Juvo app comes in and offers consumers a small loan which allows them to stay connected to the Internet for longer periods of time.

In emerging markets where cash still rules, the app gives consumers without a bank account a means to create and then grow a financial identity. As small loans are repaid, Juvo offers bigger sums as its consumers’ credit improves over time.

Moving outside of mobile micro-loans, Juvo is currently working on providing its customers with a “portable” credit score in order to facilitate customers’ access to other financial services.

Alongside benefiting consumers, the company offers its seven different mobile carrier partners a means to increasing revenue per user by 15%, reaching 500 million subscribers in 25 countries.

Juvo’s recent funding will reportedly be used to expand internationally, ink more deals with carriers and bring additional partners on board in efforts to grow its financial service offerings beyond mobile micro-loans.