Orange Digital Ventures Africa has announced its first investment in an African startup. The technological investment fund will help Nairobi based mobile technology company Africa’s Talking to raise $8.6 million alongside the IFC World Bank and Social Capital.
The transaction is subject to the usual conditions precedent, including the approval of Kenya’s competent authorities. Upon completion, Africa’s Talking says it plans to accelerate its internationalisation to support its clients’ expansion strategies.
“We are delighted that the first beneficiary of our African initiative is a recognised player providing access to operators’ APIs. We believe that it is essential to support every initiative that aims to make these APIs more accessible to entrepreneurs in Africa. The expansion of these mobile services is one of the key ways to help generate new innovations that will have an impact on the continent. ‘’ Marc Rennard, Chairman of Orange Digital Ventures said.
He added that the investment strengthens Orange’s position as a leader in the ongoing mobile revolution. ‘’We look forward to seeing Africa’s Talking accelerate its pan-African expansion,” he said
Africa’s Talking provides access to telecom operators’ communication and payment APIs (programming interfaces) for developers. It is now the favourite solution of many Kenyan startups and over 15,000 developers, many of which rely on these APIs including SMS, voice and USSD to design services that are revolutionising financial, energy, health and insurance services among others.
Samuel Gikandi, CEO and co-founder of Africa’s Talking said “This new round of fundraising will enable us to grow our pan-African community of Software Developers building businesses that consume communication and payment services.’’
He said the company will leverage the relationship between them and Orange Digital Ventures Africa to accelerate its expansion in countries where Orange is present and launch new products that deepen the engagement of Orange with Software Developers,”
The company has also started working in other African countries like Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Malawi, Nigeria and Ethiopia.
Orange Digital Ventures is an early-stage technology investment fund of €125 million for international projects. It finances innovative startups in the fields of connectivity and networks, SaaS for companies (cloud, AI, big data, cybersecurity, etc.), Fintech and the Internet of Things. Among other things, Orange Digital Ventures Africa aims to help daring entrepreneurs who are creating innovative digital services for the African continent. Supported by the Orange group, the fund offers “smart money” by facilitating the implementation of synergies with its many business units and its 263 customers in 29 countries.
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