Nigeria-based communications platform-as-a-service startup, Termii, announced today that it has secured a $1.4 million seed funding to enable it deepens its presence in Africa.
Future Africa, an African early-stage investment fund, and Kepple Africa Ventures co-led the round, with Acuity Ventures, Aidi Ventures, Kairos Angels, Assembly Capital, RallyCap Ventures, Nama Ventures, and Remapped Ventures also participating.
Angel investors that also joined in the round included Ham Serunjogi, the co-founder and CEO of Chipper Cash, Josh Jones, the former co-founder and CTO of Dreamhost, and Tayo Oviosu, the co-founder and CEO of Paga.
Launched in 2017 by Gbolade Emmanuel and Ayomide Awe, Termii seeks to address communication problems facing African businesses. Through its infrastructure, it allows organizations and their clients to communicate in real-time and in a seamless manner.
Since entrepreneurs tend to have a backstory that informs their decision to launch their innovative startup, the case is no different with the founders of Termii.
Having realized that businesses need exceptional communication channels to drive customer retention and growth, Gbolade Emmanuel, Co-founder of Termii, went in search of a multichannel messaging channel that would allow companies to explore reliable avenues of communications and reach their customers in a simple yet effective way.
According to Emmanuel, getting enough data from organizations in different sectors enabled the startup to build products that would meet the needs of its users.
“Many of these businesses we started engaging said they required tools to effectively communicate and verify customers because they were losing money at those points. For us, we saw it was a bigger problem,” Emmanuel said.
With a focus on building products that would best serve its users, the team created an API-based communication infrastructure that caters to over 500 fintech startups across the continent. Today, over 1,000 businesses and developers are also using Termii’s API.
On the move to expand across Africa
Termii began making significant strides in early 2020, coinciding with their acceptance into Y Combinator. The company’s growth continued during the year, with messaging transactions increasing by 1,000% and its accounting rate of return (ARR) increasing by 400%.
Maintaining that trajectory, Emmanuel discloses that the company’s revenue is increasing by 60% month on month due to an increase in online financial transactions, which account for 68 percent of the company’s overall messaging transactions to date.
With this latest seed investment, Termii plans to expand and launch more messaging offerings across Africa.
Emmanuel says the company has its sights on North Africa with a physical presence in Algeria for the expansion. The reason lies behind the fact that in this quarter, Nigeria has accounted for 76% of the company’s messaging transactions, while Algeria currently accounts for 15%.
The business also hopes to benefit from the wealth of experience of some of its new investors, such as Oviosu and Serunjogi, who have also brought local companies through growth stages.
What this means for the African tech landscape
Termii’s seed round is notable for a variety of reasons, one of which is that usually, the company’s niche as a messaging platform-as-a-service attracts a small number of investors, as opposed to the normal agritech, fintech, mobility, and cleantech sectors that investors pay attention to.
Another factor is that, while international investors continue to dominate rounds in African tech startups, the number of local and Africa-focused companies funding tech startups on the continent is rising.
Featured Image: Ayomide Awe and Gbolade Emmanuel, Founders, Termii
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