Wowzi, a Kenyan startup that creates scalable influencer campaigns, has received $3.2 million in total funding. The seed round funding was $2m and pre-seed rounds were $1.2m.
4DX Ventures led the seed round with participation from Future Africa, Golden Palm Investments (Golden Palm Investments), LoftyInc Capital, Afropreneur Angels (Afropreneur Angels), and LoftyInc Capital. Christina Sass, Andela’s co-founder, and former executives of Andela Jessica Chervin, Justin Ziegler, were also contributors. Johnny Falla, currently the chief development and growth officer of Wowzi, also contributed.
Wowzi already has operations in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and all other East African countries. The startup will now be focusing on West Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, and South Africa with this investment. The startup plans to expand its product offerings and feature set.
Influencers receiving $23m
Brian Mogeni and Mike Otieno founded Wowzi in 2019. It’s a digital advertising marketplace that connects brands and agencies with micro, mega, and mega social media influencers.
The startup is focused on micro-influencers, social media users who have less than 10,000 followers. Wowzi thoroughly verifies these influencers before they are hired to run marketing campaigns on behalf of brands via their social media accounts, such as Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Tik Tok.
Wowzi helps clients create distributed messaging campaigns by using thousands of everyday customers and fans. They get paid to endorse products online. Brands can use Wowzi to choose the most influential people based on their gender, income, or location.
The startup has signed up 60,000 influencers in the East African region so far, mainly through word of mouth. It has also executed 15,000 campaigns for more than 200 clients, including Netflix. Wowzi has provided over 200,000 paid gigs and paid out Sh5 million ($44k), every week, to influencers totaling Sh260 million ($23m), every year.
1 million job opportunities
Wowzi has run campaigns in multiple African markets, including Mauritius and Mozambique, Zambia, Cameroon, and Mozambique. Now, the plan is to become a jobs aggregator rather than an influencer marketing platform.
Recent developments have allowed brands to engage influencers in surveys and polls as part of their post-market research roles.
The startup is expanding its reach into South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, and Ghana. It plans to strengthen partnerships with regional and multinational FMCG companies, banks, creative agencies, development institutions, and telcos to provide job opportunities for youth.