Kenyan startup Wowzi raised US$3.2 million in pre-seed funding rounds. This will allow it to scale its influencer marketing platform across Africa.
Wowzi was launched in 2020. It is an online marketplace that democratizes power, connecting everyday social media users to big brands and enabling micro and nano creators to make money spreading brand messages via social media.
Startup’s self-serve platform online allows brands of all sizes and industries to create and manage large, distributed messaging campaigns using thousands of real customers and fans. They get paid to endorse products online and receive genuine endorsements.
Many brands, including Safaricom, Diageo and Coca-Cola, as well as P&G, Absa Bank and Safaricom, are now creating campaigns that involve 5,000 people or more. Wowzi has already recruited 70,000 influencers in Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania within its first 18 months, mainly through word-of-mouth.
The startup closed a US$2million seed round, led by 4DX Ventures. Participation from To.org and Golden Palm Investments, LoftyInc Capital Capital, Afropreneur Angels and Future Africa was also included. Christina Sass, co-founder of Andela, as well as alumni Jessica Chervin and Justin Ziegler and Johnny Falla, participated. After a previously unannounced US$1.2million pre-seed round in 2020, the seed round of US$2,000,000 brings the total raised to date up to US$3.2million.
Wowzi intends to use the funding to expand partnerships with regional and multinational FMCG companies as well as banks, creative agencies, development institutions, and telcos to create dignified jobs in the digital economy for African youth.
Mobile use is a major driver of commerce in African countries, and it’s where many young people spend their time. To master the core principles of sharing brand messages, young people need only light remote training. Anyone with a smartphone can now influence their peers via social media. Wowzi is now able to distribute job opportunities to thousands of youth simultaneously, allowing brands to interact directly with them and offer gig work. Wowzi is a new advertising platform that targets niche communities,” Brian Mogeni, co-founder of Wowzi and CEO of Wowzi.
“This new advertising layer plays into emerging trends in decentralized social networking, creating creators who consider themselves media entrepreneurs.” We are also building the best technology in the world that is adaptable to the changing needs of brands and users.
Mike Otieno, the co-founder of Wowzi, said that Generation Z African creators have an influence on decision buying among peers through their unique online and offline communities.
“Wowzi creates a marketplace that values creativity. This is something that has never been done on Africa at this scale before. Our mission is to connect potential to opportunity. This platform accomplishes exactly that for emerging creators. We set a lofty goal to create one million jobs for African youth. This year, we have already delivered almost 200,000 of these paid gigs.
Peter Orth, co-founder of 4DX Ventures and general partner, said that Wowzi could transform advertising in Africa and the world.
“The ROI their platform delivers to advertisers is an order-of-magnitude better than traditional advertising campaigns and while they deliver this impact, they also create a lot of jobs for an emerging class of digital influencers. He said that Wowzi is a great partner and is excited to help them achieve their big vision.