If you are looking for a new way to fund your startup, check out the UK-based 9m Capital Lonsdalemascarenhastechcrunch. This is a venture capital firm that invests in tech startups from across the globe. Their portfolio includes a recent $1.2 million seed round for Qwili, a financial services startup in Kenya. The startup is focusing on providing a convenient and easy to use mobile platform that allows consumers to make purchases online without having to visit a brick and mortar store.
Qwili raises $1.2 million seed round
Qwili is a South African startup aimed at providing access to digital services to unbanked and digitally excluded consumers in Sub-Saharan Africa. The company offers an affordable NFC-enabled smartphone as a portable point-of-sale system. Its software allows merchants to offer value-added services to customers.
The platform enables 500 micro and small merchants in Southern Africa to sell their products to end users. They do so through Qwili’s app, which is pre-installed on all of their phones. Using the app, the merchants can easily sell a variety of items including clothes, electronics, food, pay-TV subscriptions, and electricity.
Since launching in 2020, Qwili has gained a considerable amount of traction. In the first quarter of 2022, the company’s revenue grew by 300% from the first quarter of the previous year. This is a testament to the company’s impact, which extends to its agents.
Founded by Luyolo Sijake, Tapfuma Masunzambwa, and Thandwefika Radebe, Qwili is a hybrid hardware and software startup that is based in Cape Town. The company’s focus is on applying existing technology in the most effective ways.
While the company originally started with a business-to-customer model, the team is currently operating a business-to-business (B2B) model. A B2B model is one in which merchants sell their products to other merchants through an online marketplace.
African fintechs make headlines for compliance checks
The FinTech industry is undergoing a transformation in Africa. Successful players have leveraged preexisting infrastructure to build their customer base. But as African fintechs scale up, they must also build new relationships to ensure sustainability and growth.
Financial inclusion is a key challenge in the continent. This requires regulation. While there are several initiatives underway, regulatory uncertainty is the bottleneck. Several African countries have an opportunity to take advantage of the momentum of recent years. However, this growth path will not be smooth.
Traditionally fragmented financial systems are being rebuilt on web-enabled platforms. A better understanding of how regulation works is crucial.
The largest bottleneck to financial inclusion in Africa is regulatory uncertainty. There are significant differences between countries, making it difficult to establish a sustainable business model across the board.
One key step to address this issue is to build a digital identity. This helps organizations verify the addresses of their customers. Biometrics-based digital identities are a key component to meeting KYC regulatory compliance goals. Using federated identity is the most effective way to do this.
Youverify is an African-based company that provides a platform to help automate KYC. It offers a multi-factor approach that includes verification, transaction monitoring, and risk management. They claim to have helped prevent large-scale chargeback fraud.
Challenges of pitching a tech startup
The challenges of pitching a tech startup are many and varied. While a lot of it boils down to timing and sex, there are a few things you can do to make sure your pitch is a win. These tips include mentioning milestones and a solid plan to mitigate any risks that might be afoot.
There are also more mundane tasks to be tackled, such as making sure your intellectual property is protected. One of the perks of being a startup is having access to resources that might otherwise be unavailable to you. For example, most founders will collaborate with developers overseas. Whether you’re talking tech or a physical product, you’ll want to have a plan in place before you get to the pointy end.
You’ll need to do some homework and the requisite research. A smart way to do this is to look at the problem you’re trying to solve and map out the major components of your solution. This will enable you to identify the best candidates to work with. Also, you’ll be able to see where you might be lacking.
As for the actual task of executing the pitch, you’ll need to enlist the services of a coach to guide you through the maze.