The Orange Group's new investment fund for Africa, Orange Digital Ventures Africa, has invested in API platform Africa's Talking by helping raise $8.6m alongside the IFC World Bank and Social Capital.
Africa’s Talking provides access to telecom operators’ communication and payment APIs (programming interfaces) for developers. Many Kenyan startups and developers use these APIs including SMS, voice, and USSD to design services for the financial, energy, health, and insurance sectors.
The transaction is subject to the usual conditions precedent, including the approval of Kenya’s – where Africa’s Talking is based - competent authorities. Upon completion, Africa’s Talking plans to accelerate its internationalisation to support its clients’ expansion strategies. Beyond Kenya, the company has started working in Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Malawi, Nigeria and Ethiopia.
Chairman of Orange Digital Ventures, Marc Rennard, says: “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. We look forward to seeing Africa’s Talking accelerate its pan-African expansion.”
CEO and co-founder of Africa’s Talking, Samuel Gikandi, says: “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.”
“The arrival of Orange Digital Ventures is excellent news for Africa’s Talking. We intend to leverage this relationship to accelerate our expansion in countries where Orange is present and launch new products that deepen the engagement of Orange with software developers.”
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