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Tappi Raises $1.5m in Pre-Seed Round to Digitise, Build Online Trust for Africa’s SMEs

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Tappi, an end-to-end digital commerce SaaS solution tailored for small and medium-sized businesses, has raised $1.5m in an oversubscribed pre-seed round led by Mercy Corps Ventures and Chui Ventures.

Tappi Raises $1.5m in Pre-Seed Round to Digitise, Build Online Trust for Africa’s SMEs

With participation from Digital Currency Group, SOSV, Resilience17, growX ventures, Orbit Startups and Reflect Ventures, the investment also saw contributions from angel investors and advisors from global tech companies, including Google, Salesforce, Zendesk and the financial sector.

The early-stage funding will further tappi’s mission to empower SMEs to gain visibility and build trust in the digital commerce ecosystem as the company broadens its footprint across Africa.

Founded in 2022 by Kenfield Griffith and Louis Majanja, tappi is digitizing Africa’s $20bn SME market through software sophistication. Offering SaaS and enterprise-grade tools to SMEs in Africa starting as low as $2/month, tappi integrates and partners with some of Africa’s largest mobile network operators and financial institutions, extending its addressable market to over 100M SMEs.

tappi embeds AI in its operations in Kenya and Nigeria, facilitating a seamless online business profile creation process through an intuitive chat experience. Payments, Messaging, and AI are all pivotal to the company’s end-to-end digital commerce stack, which aims to be the SEO backbone to increase revenue for SMEs across the continent.

This is achieved by helping businesses gain visibility, consolidating payments with verified reviews to build online trust, and paying for online ads with mobile airtime.

Since its inception, tappi has captured verified reviews on $3m consumer transactions and engaged with over 150K consumers.

With this new funding, tappi will double down on its current markets by building a solid sales force to boost direct sales, leveraging a strong 90% retention rate.

tappi will also forge strategic partnerships, building on its existing relationship with MTN Nigeria, which has seen a 19% MoM growth in business ads and business data bundle subscriptions. Further investment will also focus on talent acquisition and overall brand building.

Speaking on the round, Kenfield Griffith, tappi CEO and co-founder said, “We are grateful to be supported by great investors who share our vision and the mission to address the untapped potential within Africa’s informal SME markets, particularly in overlooked service industries such as food services, fashion, and agriculture, and health and beauty. We are eager to empower SMEs across Africa by providing them with a trusted identity online to find customers. The current investment will support our mission to make inroads with our customers through direct sales and partnerships across the continent.”

“There are ~44 million (M)SMEs in Africa, driving ~60% employment and ~38% of GDP on the continent. Yet, these businesses, ~60%+ women-led, remain the most underserved and vulnerable to shocks, especially those accelerated by climate change. While some may have access to mobile wallets, payment platforms, and online tools, few have a holistic package that offers them the ability to establish a verified digital presence, create a performance record, track income, and leverage these to increase incomes and resilience. Our investment reaffirms Mercy Corps Ventures’ belief in tappi, and is very much in line with our purpose of inclusivity and developing financial resilience amongst SMEs in Africa,” added Hetal Patel, Director of Investments at Mercy Corps Ventures.

In a recent 2023 Africa MSME Pulse Survey, 62% of respondents [majority from Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa] reported an increased reliance on technology and online tools. Additionally, over 25% plan to invest in e-commerce and website development, highlighting the significant opportunity in the digital commerce ecosystem. tappi is well-positioned to meet this growing demand as it fosters trust and drives economic growth across Africa.

Lynda Saint-Nwafor, chief enterprise business officer, MTN Nigeria, said, “At MTN, we’re committed to fueling the growth of over 40 million MSMEs in our markets through tech-driven solutions. Partnering with tappi, we’ve launched MTN Thryve, empowering SMEs to connect with current customers and find new customers via Facebook and Instagram ads using MTN data bundles and airtime. tappi’s technology aligns with our vision, and we’re excited to be part of SME success stories in our markets.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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E-Business

Konga, CeraVe Ink MoU for Exclusive Launch of L’Oreal Product in Nigeria

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At long last, relief is here for the skincare enthusiasts in Nigeria! Konga Health, Nigeria’s premier digital healthcare distribution company, has sealed an exclusive partnership with CeraVe, a leading global skincare brand under the L’Oréal umbrella, to launch its product in the country. L’Oréal is the world leader in beauty: makeup, cosmetics, haircare and perfume in terms of quality, efficacy and safety.

Konga Health

Through Konga Health, a technology-driven healthcare solutions company focused on revolutionizing the healthcare value chain and a member of the Konga Group, this exclusive collaboration will debut with the renowned CeraVe line, offering unbeatable prices and free delivery to some locations Nationwide.

This enhanced partnership empowers Konga Health to onboard pharmacists, physicians, and other healthcare providers Nationwide to support the distribution of CeraVe’s product line. This initiative includes opportunities for recruitment, partnerships, and collaboration to ensure that high-quality skincare solutions are accessible to all nationwide.

This strategic alliance ensures that genuine CeraVe products reach Nigerian consumers swiftly and conveniently, leveraging Konga’s extensive e-commerce infrastructure. Concerns about counterfeit items that often plague the beauty and skincare market are now a thing of the past, as Konga becomes CeraVe’s official distributor in Nigeria.

CeraVe now boasts a dedicated official shop-in-shop (SIS) on Konga.com, serving as a one-stop destination for all authentic CeraVe products. Shoppers can directly access top-tier skincare solutions identical to those available globally.

Starting Monday, July 15th, CeraVe’s flagship products, such as the Cerave’s Hydrating Cleanser, Foaming Cleanser, SA Smoothing Cleanser, Fragrance-Free Moisturizer with 3 Essential Ceramides & Hyaluronic Acid, Barrier-Reinforcing Moisturizing Cream, Night Cream with Niacinamide, Exfoliating Salicylic Acid Foot Cream, Retinol Serum, Eye Repair Cream, Facial Moisturizers, Hyaluronic, and Vitamin C Serums, will be readily available on the Konga Health and Konga.com platforms, offering customers a seamless and convenient shopping experience.

Nnenna Emenyonu, Senior Vice President of Konga Health, expressed her excitement about the partnership, stating, “We are thrilled to partner with CeraVe, a brand synonymous with quality and scientific excellence in skincare. This collaboration allows our customers access to top-tier skincare products that are dermatologically tested and proven effective.”

Rabah Deroueche, LID LDB SSA and Business Development Director at L’Oreal, shared similar sentiments, noting, “Our partnership with Konga marks a significant milestone for CeraVe in Nigeria. By leveraging our commitment to quality skincare products and Konga’s platform, CeraVe can reach a wider audience and address the skincare needs of Nigerian consumers. This collaboration ensures Nigerian consumers can easily access our products and experience the benefits of our dermatologist-developed formulations.”

CeraVe has earned its stellar reputation globally through scientifically backed formulations. Developed in close collaboration with dermatologists, CeraVe products meet the highest standards of skincare and are celebrated for using essential ingredients that ensure optimal skin health.

The partnership between Konga and L’Oreal establishes Konga’s standing as a trusted e-commerce platform offering only high-quality products. As the official distributor of CeraVe, Konga is dedicated to maintaining the brand’s integrity by providing shoppers with authentic products that meet their skincare needs.


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TD Africa Partners CISCO on Tech-Skills Development in Africa

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In its continuous drive to bridge the widening skills gap in Africa’s technology sector, TD Africa, Africa’s largest technology distribution company, has partnered with Cisco on its month-long inaugural training program.

TD-CISCO

The program, the first of its kind in the TD Academy training series, was aimed at empowering young minds with technical skills and professional exposure.

The initiative, titled “Introduction to Cisco Networking Solutions and Workplace Professional Skills,” exemplifies TD Africa’s comprehensive and futuristic approach to technology education and professional development, empowering individuals and businesses to thrive in the digital age.

This innovative series of pooled training aims to equip the participants with the foundational knowledge of Cisco networking solutions, which is critical for building and managing robust IT infrastructure and workplace professional skills, recognizing the importance of soft skills in today’s dynamic work environment.

This combined focus on technical competence and professional development aligns with TD Africa’s robust approach towards impacting appropriate skills set into young people.

Cisco’s extensive portfolio for this first leg of TD Academy encompasses carefully curated programs in cybersecurity, data analysis, and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to address the most sought-after skills in the African technology market.

For Mrs. Chioma Ekeh, CEO of TD Africa, the company’s dedication to bridging the skills gap is not a one-off training program nor limited to knowledge transfer.

Her words: “We understand the critical need for a skilled workforce to propel Africa’s digital transformation. Through our collaborative training programs with industry leaders like Cisco, we are committed to equipping individuals with the right tools and knowledge to succeed in this exciting field.”

Amblessed Ubong, one of the beneficiaries of the training program, said, “I recently completed a four-week training at the TD Academy; it was enriching and transformative.

“The sessions were thought-provoking, the trainers were passionate, and the environment was highly supportive. Collaborative projects enhanced my teamwork skills and made learning enjoyable.

“I left the TD Academy with a wealth of knowledge and a renewed enthusiasm for my career.”

Impressed by the exceptional talent emerging from the program, Africa’s number one tech distribution company immediately recruited some of the top graduates who participated in the training program.

This commitment to recognizing and nurturing talent further strengthens the technology ecosystem in Africa, creating a pipeline of skilled professionals for the future.

By empowering individuals and businesses with the necessary skills and knowledge, TD Africa is further stamping its foot in the sand of time, playing a pivotal role in Africa’s digital renaissance.


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E-Business

Davido Launches Chatter, Own Social Media App

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David Adeleke, Nigerian musician well known as Davido, has launched Chatter, a new social media application.

Davido Launches Chatter, Own Social Media App

Chatter is a social audiovisual utility platform designed to help amplify the voice of content creators and connect them with a vibrant community.

However, the app’s usage goes beyond content creators; business-minded individuals, as well as people looking to connect, have a place on it.

The musician used his social media accounts to announce the app’s release.

He gave a brief history of the development of the software and its features with his friend.

The well-known musician from Nigeria stated that he and Sir Banko, his close friend  are the owners of the app.

The music icon posted information about Chatter, a social audiovisual utility platform that connects content creators to a lively community and helps them magnify their voices.

In the past eight months, Davido has undertaken three internet projects.

Recall that the musician introduced his cryptocurrency.

However, the $DAVIDO coin fell a few days after it launched, prompting some cryptocurrency fans to call it a scam and a rug-pull.

 

 


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