Set to empower African SMEs, tappi raises $1.5m funding for digital commerce revolution and continent-wide expansion
In the latest chapter of Africa’s tech evolution, tappi, a rapidly growing digital commerce SaaS solution, has secured $1.5 million in a Pre-Seed funding round, marking a crux in the startup’s journey to facilitate the continent’s SME market. This is a development that promises to reshape the landscape of digital commerce across Africa.
The funding round, which witnessed overwhelming investor interest, was spearheaded by Mercy Corps Ventures and Chui Ventures. Notable participants included industry heavyweights like Digital Currency Group, SOSV, Resilience17, growX ventures, Orbit Startups, Reflect Ventures, and individual investors from major global tech companies.
Launched in 2022 by the visionary duo of Kenfield Griffith and Louis Majanja, tappi’s mission is clear – to empower Africa’s small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) through cutting-edge software solutions. The recently acquired funds are earmarked to accelerate tappi’s quest to enhance visibility and instil trust within the digital commerce ecosystem, amplifying its footprint across the continent.
Fueled by a subscription-based model starting as low as $2 per month, tappi seamlessly integrates with Africa’s major mobile network operators and financial institutions, extending its digital embrace to over 100 million SMEs.
Harnessing the power of AI in its operations in Kenya and Nigeria, tappi introduces an intuitive chat experience for online business profile creation. The platform’s comprehensive digital commerce stack, encompassing AI, payments, and messaging, aspires to become the SEO backbone for SMEs, catalyzing revenue growth across Africa.
Since its inception, tappi has processed $3 million in verified consumer transactions, garnering rave reviews from a highly engaged consumer base. The newly injected capital is strategically earmarked to fortify tappi’s sales force, spur direct sales initiatives, and further nurture successful partnerships, with the noteworthy collaboration with MTN Nigeria standing out. This partnership has witnessed an impressive 19% month-on-month growth in business ads and data bundle subscriptions, showcasing the tangible impact of tappi’s solutions.
Kenfield Griffith, the CEO, and Co-founder of tappi expressed gratitude for the overwhelming support, underlining the company’s commitment to unlocking the untapped potential within Africa’s informal SME markets. The investment, he emphasized, will serve as a catalyst for tappi’s mission to empower SMEs across the continent, particularly in service industries such as food services, fashion, agriculture, and health and beauty.
The timing of tappi’s triumph aligns seamlessly with the findings of the 2023 Africa MSME Pulse Survey, which highlights the escalating reliance on technology in the region. Notably, 62% of respondents from key markets like Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa reported an increased use of online tools. A significant 25% are planning to invest in e-commerce and website development, presenting a substantial opportunity in the burgeoning digital commerce ecosystem. tappi, well-poised to meet this demand, is set to foster trust and contribute to economic growth across Africa.
Hetal Patel, Director of Investments at Mercy Corps Ventures, lauded the investment’s alignment with their vision of inclusivity and the development of financial resilience among SMEs in Africa. Meanwhile, MTN Nigeria’s Chief Enterprise Business Officer, Lynda Saint-Nwafor, expressed enthusiasm about the partnership, emphasizing MTN’s commitment to fueling the growth of over 40 million MSMEs in their markets through tech-driven solutions.