Talk360, an international calling app, has raised $4 million (R63,000,000) to fund its plans to launch a pan-African platform for payments in the middle of 2022.
Led by a leading African venture capitalist, the seed round was funded HAVAÍC, 4Di CapitalSeveral prominent fintech angel investors.
The Talk360 app is growing rapidly on the continent. However, there are a growing number paid users. Accessibility has been a problem for the 500 million unserviced.
Users either don’t have Online bankingTalk360 airtime is not available in all currencies and payment methods. New payment platforms will make it easier for users to pay using their preferred currency. It will also open up to other service providers.
Talk360 was founded in 2016 by a South African venture capitalist. Dean HiineHans Osnabrugge & Jorne Schuamp, Dutch entrepreneurs. It connected more than 2,000,000 people in 2021 with offices in South Africa. India, Nigeria, South Africa, and the Netherlands.
“From the start, our mission was to bridge distance and connect lives by offering reliable, affordable, and easy-to-use digital services, delivered in a localised manner to all communities, particularly emerging countries, so they can connect to the world,” said Hiine.
“The Talk360 app is now the number one calling app in Africa, independent of users’ currency or preferred way of payment. We have +750K physical points to sell and can support mobile wallets. This allows us to reach more people than the traditional debit and credit card support that international companies use. We now have enough traction to attract internationally renowned investors to expand our footprint and allow other companies to use our unique single checkout payment platform for all of Africa.”
Ian Lessem, managing partner of HAVAÍC, said Talk360’s ability to overcome the challenge of distribution in Africa and organic growth was ‘nothing short of spectacular’, speaking to the quality of its product, technology and leadership team.
“With HAVAÍC’s experience, networks and complimentary investments in Africa, we are incredibly excited about the prospects of Talk360. We believe the business will not only continue on a path of exponential customer acquisition, but is well on its way to leverage this growth by offering other complementary technology-enabled products to its growing customer base,” said Lessem.
Angel investors include many unicorn founders, executives like Gaston Aussems(ex-Mollie), Robert Kraal/ex-Adyen), Gabriel de Montessusss (President WorldPay International), Marnix Van der Ploeg/ex-Booking.com/EQT). Aussems said Africa was an ‘interesting growth market’, with a fast-growing middle class.
“Through the calling app, Talk360 has already connected many people and is consistently improving the lives of its customers. Mobile digital services have huge potential with 60% of the country’s population being under 25. The new payment platform will make it possible for providers to offer their services across the continent and to offer a suitable payment option for every consumer,” said Aussems.
Talk360 is also striving to accelerate its mission of creating jobs and reducing unemployment in the communities it serves via its rapidly expanding agent network.
“By creating jobs and micro entrepreneurship opportunities within different communities, we learned how we can help African consumers and businesses connect with their loved ones,” said Osnabrugge.