South African startup Talk360’s seed funding hits $7M after new backing • TechCrunch
A few months after the end of the first round of seeding, Talk360a South African Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) startup, raised an additional $3 million, bringing the total investment raised in the round to $7 million.
Talk360’s newest investors include Allan Gray E2 Ventures (AGEV), Kalon Venture Partners, E4E Africa, Endeavor, existing principal investor HAVAÍC, and several angel investors including Tjaart van der Walt and Coenraad Jonker.
The company plans to use the new funding to launch its pan-Africa payments platform next year and increase its VoIP market share. Talk360’s payment platform will integrate “all payment options” on the continent – creating a diverse set of localized payment options, making it easy for international and local businesses to sell for buyers residing in Africa.
“The new platform will allow users across the continent to purchase products and services in any currency and over 160 payment methods. It will also be open to other sellers,” Talk360 said in a statement.
Talk360 told TechCrunch, in a previous interview, that the decision to become a payment aggregator was informed by the challenges it faced in implementing digital payment options, which affected the profitability of their internet calling business.
Dean Hiinethe co-founder and CEO of the startup in Africa, told TechCrunch that existing digital payment methods in Africa are fragmented and some involve complex and lengthy processes, affect its conversion rate.
Hiine, co-founder of the startup with Hans Osnabrugge and Jorne Schamps in 2016, hopes to tap the payments platform to allow more people across the continent to make international calls through its app. Talk360 users make calls for a fee, with its platform built in such a way that only the originator needs the app and the internet – a smartphone – to make a call.
“Our mission is to bridge the gap and connect lives by providing reliable, affordable and easy-to-use digital services delivered in a localized way for all. communities, especially emerging countries, so they can connect with the world,” said Hiine.
The startup also has a reseller network, including PesaPoint in Kenya and Flash in South Africa, allowing users to purchase airtime vouchers from more than 750,000 physical points of sale.
“But we don’t just solve socio-economic problems: we also provide micro-startup opportunities and generate income for our growing network of agents around the country.”
The company says its internet calling app has connected 2.3 million people worldwide this year and saw 167% growth in customers and 130% in revenue. The app has active users in over 170 countries including South Africa, Zimbabwe and Bangladesh.
“We have invested more in Talk360 based on its strong progress in the South African market to date, as well as its potential in the rest of Africa. Since our first investment, the company has shown spectacular growth and the ability to truly overcome distribution challenges in Africa. We have seen the company convert users into paying customers by providing them with related services and making this easily accessible, affordable, reliable and trustworthy. trust”, said Ian Lessem, managing partner of HAVAÍC.