World Bank’s private equity and venture capital arm International Finance Corporation (IFC) will put KES 619 million into Africa’s Talking. The IT startup offers various communication solutions in effort to meet its mandate, and that is to keep a connected Africa.
IFC has been World Bank’s lending arm for a long time, and in its existence, the company has provided financial services for startups in developing economies, in addition to growth and expansion capital and so forth. With its experience, IFC believes that it will spur Africa’s Talking growth to newer markets beyond where it currently operates.
According to Business Daily, the startup wants to expand into Africa in an effort to bolster its product offering.
“What we are looking for is to continue expansion into Africa and to expand our product offering,” says Africa’s Talking chief operating officer, Bilha Ndirangu.
The company’s head office is in Nairobi, and has exported its business to Nigeria, Malawi, Ethiopia as well as Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda.
It has not been revealed what IFC’s stake will be as negotiations are still underway.
Africa’s Talking offers bulk SMS, short code and premium SMS, as well as customized mobile messaging solutions for developers, businesses and individuals. At the same time, the firm offers SMSVoices.com where people can share information on the web via text messages and online postings.
Prior to this development, the company’s presence in Nigeria was given a huge boost when it partnered with the West African country’s fourth largest telecommunication service provider, 9mobile. The primary goal for this partnership was to offer software services to SMEs with access to telecoms infrastructure through mobile communication APIs.