Talk360, a South African Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) business, has secured an additional $3 million, bringing the total investment garnered in the round to $7 million. This comes months after the original closing of its seed round, which brought the total amount collected in the round to $2 million.
New investors in Talk360 include Allan Gray E2 Ventures (AGEV), Kalon Venture Partners, E4E Africa, Endeavor, as well as HAVAC, the company’s current lead investor, and a number of angel investors, such as Tjaart van der Walt and Coenraad Jonker.
The newly acquired capital will be put to use by the firm in 2019, when they want to increase their share of the VoIP industry as well as create a pan-African payment platform. The payment platform offered by Talk360 will integrate “all payment options” available on the African continent. This will result in the creation of a diverse pool of locally-tailored payment options, which will make it simpler for international and local businesses to sell their products to customers located in Africa.
“Users from all across the continent will be able to purchase goods and services via the use of any currency and more than 160 different payment methods thanks to the new platform. It will also be made available to other shops, according to a statement released by Talk360.
In a previous interview with TechCrunch, Talk360 explained that the difficulties it had in implementing digital payment options were a factor in the company’s decision to become a payment aggregator. These difficulties had an impact on the company’s bottom line when it came to its internet calling business.
According to TechCrunch comments made by Dean Hiine, co-founder of the firm and managing director for Africa, current digital payment options in Africa are dispersed, and some of them entail long and difficult procedures, which negatively influence the conversion rate.
Hiine, who together with Hans Osnabrugge and Jorne Schamp created the company in 2016, has high aspirations of leveraging the payment platform to make it possible for more individuals all across the continent to make international calls using the app that they developed. Talk360 customers make calls for a price, and the platform is designed in such a manner that only the person who initiates the conversation requires the app and internet access, which means that all they need is a smartphone.
“Our mission is to bridge distance and connect lives by offering reliable, affordable, and easy-to-use digital services, delivered in a localized manner to all communities, particularly emerging countries, so that they can connect to the world,” said Hiine. “We do this by offering digital services that are delivered in a localized manner.”
Users are able to buy airtime vouchers from over 750,000 physical points of sale thanks to the startup’s network of agents, which includes PesaPoint in Kenya and Flash in South Africa. PesaPoint and Flash are two examples of such agents.
But we don’t only solve socio-economic difficulties; we also give chances for micro-entrepreneurship and revenue generation to our increasing network of agents around the nation. “But we’re not just tackling socio-economic issues.”
The firm said that its internet calling app had linked 2.3 million individuals throughout the globe up to this point in the year, and that it had achieved a 167% gain in subscribers and a 130% growth in sales. Over 170 nations, including South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Bangladesh, are represented within the app’s active user base.
“We put extra money into Talk360 because of its impressive performance in the South African market to this point, as well as its potential in the rest of Africa. Since we made our first investment, the firm has shown not just phenomenal growth, but also a true capacity to overcome the difficulties associated with distribution in Africa. According to Ian Lessem, the managing partner of HAVAC, “We’ve seen the firm convert users into paying customers by delivering them relevant services and making this available in an easy method that’s also inexpensive, dependable, and trustworthy.”