- ThankUCash connects customers with business services to help businesses grow, retain customer loyalty, and increase sales.
- Jabu Technologies has raised $3.2 million in seed funding to invest in its B2B e-commerce and retail operations
- Parler, which serves more like Facebook, Reddit, and Twitter, all mixed into one raised US$20 million in funding.
Investors are embracing funding start-ups in the African continent.
Here are some start-ups that are beginning 2022 on a high after some lucrative heavy seed funding.
ThankUCash in Nigeria
A multi-merchant loyalty and cashback platform In Nigeria has raised seed funding amounting to $5.3 million to drive its expansion to new markets and launch new products.
ThankUCash connects customers with business services to help businesses grow, retain customer loyalty, and increase sales. The app enables customers to get the best deals and a cash return on every purchase made.
The platform was created in 2018 by co-founders Madonna Ononobi, Simeon Ononobi, Suraj Supekar, and Harshal Gandole.
ThankUCash won the start-up of the year in the AfriArena Awards 2021.
How ThankUCash works
The merchant uploads his business (es) on the company’s website and tracks his customer progress on the dashboard.
The consumer downloads the ThankUCash app on their phone or computer.
They purchase with their ATM Card on any business registered on the platform.
Rewards come in the form of points, and customers can claim them as cash. The facts are credited when they accumulate to an amount above N10,000 ($24.19)
The start-up has users above 600,000. ThanUCash has over 1,000 stores and a transaction volume accumulated to $80 million.
The founders lent the seed round of $5.3 million together with 500 Global and Unicorn Growth Capital. Many participants in raising the seed fund include Predictive VC, Export Dojo, Betatron, SaaS Growth Ventures, Accelex holding, Google director of strategy and operations, Craig Fenton, and former HSBC chief executive Andrew Bell.
The platform is currently operating in Lagos, Abuja, and Port Harcourt in Nigeria. The platform intends to use the seed funding to expand to other cities in the country and Kenya, and Ghana.
Namibia start-up, Jabu Technologies
Backed up by the capital firm YC, Jabu Technologies has raised $3.2 million in seed funding to invest in its B2B e-commerce and retail operations.
Afore Capital spearheads the seed round with Y Combinator, Quiet Capital, FJ Labs, Pareto Capital, Kli Capital, and angel investors.
The chief executive of JABU, David Akinin, founded the company in 2020 to revamp the poor and almost non-existent distribution network and supply chain in Namibia.
The company helps small businesses to buy and stock their products while also supplying distributors and manufacturers with data-driven services.
Jabu is in the process of digitizing physical cash collection through the use of wallets in an attempt to capture foreign currency, which accounts for a significant chunk of Namibia’s gross domestic product.
Retailers who deposit their money to JABU destruction centres have it in their bank accounts in less than 48 hours, highlighting its improving efficiency.
Businesses can withdraw and deposit funds at these centres using JABU’s wallets, saving on lining up in banks.
Jabu won the start-up of the year in the AfriArena 2021 awards.
The seed fund will expand into South Africa and Botswana, equip the company’s technology, and train current and additional field agents.
The Parler Social Media app
According to an SEC filing signed and submitted on January 6, Parler, a conservative social media platform, has raised $20 million in funding.
With the slogan “unbiased social media,” Parler serves more like Facebook, Reddit, and Twitter, all mixed into one.
The app, which is not android enabled, claims to have 16 million registered users. It describes its mission as defending users against BigTech, Big Government, and the rising cancel culture. Parler also subscribes to being nonpartisan.
On the downside, however, researchers such as the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League have called out Parler from its role in the Capitol insurgency to spreading misinformation on COVID-19 vaccines.
Parler’s popularity grew after Social media platforms Twitter and Facebook barred President Trump from accessing their media.