Kenyan start-up Wowzi, has received Sh225.8 million ($2million) funding as the company moves to expand its products beyond influencer marketing and open in three more countries.
The funding was raised from New York-based venture capital fund, 4DX Ventures with participation from other Nigeria and Ghana-based firms such as LoftyInc Capital, Future Africa, Golden Palm Investments, To.org and Afropreneur Angels.
Wowzi CEO Brian Mogeni said the funds will be used to roll out the platform in Nigeria, Ghana and South Africa before the end of March next year. It is currently operating in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.
The platform will also include other products on social selling and enhancing its market insights tool to assist development agencies and researchers, adding to existing influencer marketing.
‘’We are primarily building the infrastructure to connect people to brands, development entities, SMEs to individual businesses in a way that they can earn a living. One job we got on the platform is serving the creative economy and we see this economy beyond just celebrities,” Mr Mogeni said.
The company recently launched a product allowing consumers to participate in market insights where firms find out the perception of a product and services, to inform their marketing and distributions decisions.
For instance, a fast-moving consumer goods company would want to know how a family sees or uses their products so the campaign is they send to real mothers or heads of households.
Under social selling, brands will leverage their network of consumers to sell their products or services such as insurance services to other consumers or use them to sign in other merchants.
Research entities will be directly connected to the targeted informers reducing the time taken to do a survey.
This will see the platform reach a wider community and make use of other professionals, chefs, drivers, bankers, doctors, farmers and students.
Software developers start-up Andela co-founder Christina Sass and alumni Jessica Chervin, Justin Ziegler and Johnny Falla also participated in the funding.
The $2 million round comes after a previously unannounced $1.2 million seed funding, bringing the total amount raised to date to $3.2 million (Sh361.3 million).
The company has worked with over 200 brands under the influencer marketing segment with companies such as Netflix, Safaricom, Diageo, Coca Cola, and Absa Bank, using about 70,000 influencers in the three countries, since its launch in June last year.