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South Africa’s Talk360 Secures Additional $3 Million In Seed Funding, Raising The Total Seed Funding To $7 Million

Talk360’s co-founders Hans Osnabrugge and Dean Hiine

In June, Talk360, a South African startup looking to solve the challenges businesses face with setting up pan-African operations by offering a payment platform that will integrate all available payment options across Africa secured seed funding of $4 million. The round saw the participation of investors such as HAVAIC, WorldPay International’s President Gabriel de Montessuss, Gaston Aussems, Robert Kraal, and Marnix van der Ploeg. The startup said its plan for the funding was to expand its offering across Africa, offer businesses an infinite number of localized payment options available in Africa and expand its international calling operations across the continent.

Talk360 has raised an additional $3 million raising its seed funding to a total of $7 million.  Investors that participated in the seed extension round include existing lead investor HAVAIC, Allan Gray E2 Ventures (AGEV), Kalon Venture Partners, E4E Africa, Endeavor, and angel investors; Tjaart van der Walt and Coenraad Jonker.

The additional funding will be used to launch a pan-African payment platform scheduled for next year and expand its share of the VoIP market, Talk360 said. Its payment platform will integrate all payment options existing in Africa, thereby creating a menagerie of localized payment options that will make it easy for businesses in other countries and businesses existing in the continent to sell to their buyers in Africa. In its statement, the startup said that “The new platform will allow users across the continent to buy products and services using any currency and more than 160 payment methods. It will also be opened to other merchants.”

Founded in 2016 by Dean Hiine, Hans Osnabrugge, and Jorne Schamp, Talk360 was just a traveling app that people used to avoid roaming charges when they are in other countries. They, however, had to go over their strategy after internet calls arrived on platforms like WhatsApp.

They decided to include people who had had no access to the internet or were not on these social media platforms. What the founders did was to ensure that those at the end of the call do not need to have an internet connection or the Talk360 app. Thanks to partnerships the company shares with agents like PesaPoint in Kenya and Flash in South Africa, its users can also purchase airtime from over 750,000 points of sale. Talk360 is widely used in countries like South Africa, Bangladesh, and Zimbabwe.

The idea for payments came after the startup identified the need to make payment and checkout services easy for its users. “In our calling business, we identified some unique problems around digital payment in Africa. The payment methods are scattered and payment processes are lengthy…And we could see that this problem had a serious impact on our bottom line in terms of conversion rate we were seeing in Africa…It is a problem we experienced and we are trying to solve for other merchants with a presence in the continent too by making the process fast and easy,” Dean Hiine said.

Commenting on HAVAIC’s investment in the startup, managing partner Ian Lessem said that “We invested more into Talk360 based on its strong progress in the South African market to date, as well as its potential in the rest of Africa. Since our first investment, the company has shown spectacular growth, and a genuine ability to crack the challenge of distribution in Africa. We’ve seen the company convert users to paying customers by offering them relevant services, and making this accessible in an easy, affordable, reliable, and trustworthy way.”

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