Loyalty, promotions and rewards companies are a rarity in most African markets. The device economics and other elements these kinds of as currency instability make these corporations tough to pull off in the location.
Still, , a platform introduced in 2018 by , has managed to prosper, proving that not all is gloom in the offers, coupon and rewards small business. And to that stop, the startup, which introduced an undisclosed 7-figure seed very last calendar year, finally shut the round at $5.3 million.
VC corporations 500 World and Unicorn Expansion Capital co-led the Lagos-primarily based company’s seed spherical. It noticed participation from U.S.-centered accelerator Pro Dojo, Predictive VC, SaaS Advancement Ventures, Betatron Enterprise Team, Accelerex Holdings. Person investors like Andrew Dell, previous CEO of HSBC and Craig Fenton of Google United kingdom also took section.
The enterprise strategies to use the investment to increase in its property market place Nigeria — where by it operates in Lagos, Port Harcourt and Abuja — and outside the house to Ghana and Kenya. It also wishes to make improvements to its item choices and increase additional team.
For many years, retail outlet-like firms in Nigeria such as supermarkets and eating places have operated offline, relying on bookkeeping and head information to report their customers’ pursuits in their retailers. This designed it challenging to give dollars again and loyalty points to shoppers.
On line platforms like ThankUCash present these retailers with an opportunity to delve into benefits and enable them keep loyalty and enhance earnings.
CEO begun ThankUCash with Suraj Supekar, Madonna Ononobi and Harshal Gandole, who act as a chief complex officer, main working officer and senior vice president of engineering, respectively.
The multi-merchant benefits system (which suggests prospects can hop on from just one service provider to an additional to receive loyalty points in yet another) will allow buyers to get paid rewards anytime they shop with countless numbers of retailers stated on its application.
The small business raised a $320,000 pre-seed just after grabbing the these as 500 Startups, Google Launchpad and other nearby buyers like and .
Up right until this issue, ThankUCash reported it has recorded over 600,000 users and onboarded above 1,000 stores on its platform. Also, it claims to have processed over $80 million in transaction quantity.
Possessing matured as a enterprise, Ononobi and his staff want to choose on a extra complex activity: creating infrastructure for firms that want to give akin providers.
“We are generating solutions that enable SMEs realize success though rising shopper getting power and options. We want to develop an infrastructure for rewards, loyalty, offers, get now, pay out afterwards, cashback,” he mentioned to TechCrunch on a simply call.
“Cashback was our reduced hanging fruit and an entry level. We’re still heading to go into promotions, couponing, reward cards, purchase now, pay back afterwards, something that will support the enterprise mature, but at the same time, making it possible for the purchaser boost in alternatives of shopping for.”
Ononobi, a serial entrepreneur who previously designed a payments corporation and also apps for Nigerian banking companies and the authorities, reckons that ThankUCash will do to benefits the exact detail Flutterwave and Paystack did to payments in Africa.
Some companies such as financial institutions have introduced cashback courses via debit playing cards to users in the earlier. But most of them have been usually inefficient, from set up down to collections and redeeming of points, and Ononobi argues that their inefficiencies boil down to no complex assist. ThankUCash sees a gold mine to give plugins banking companies and fintechs can faucet into to provide cashback and benefits.
The little bit about invest in now, pay later is fuzzy now given that in Africa. Nonetheless, the company would seem to be positioning itself for the imminent proliferation of this sort of providers buoyed by comparable happenings globally exactly where buy now, pay back later on services have witnessed an uptake as a outcome of pandemic-induced consumer conduct.
“The technological know-how is this kind of that we have our devices in retailers. So as buyers ask for financial loans, we make a code for it, clients input it into the POS equipment and the merchant gets credited instantly. The code can only be utilized in the shop decided on and only for the loan amount of money requested, this sort of that at the end of the day the consumer is obtaining straight from the merchants,” explained the founder, who also mentioned that his startup may well venture into supplying purchase now, spend later services itself in the long term.
ThankUCash’s client-facing platform will stay operational. But to established the infrastructure perform in movement, it has signed a partnership with payments company Interswitch to onboard its merchants.
The corporation, which is also in the method of earning integrations with payments gateways, reported a pair of bank partnerships are in its pipeline.
In conditions of how ThankUCash would make cash, merchants shell out the company a cost on just about every buy produced in their shops. For occasion, ThankUCash will get a 1.5% commission for just about every consumer it delivers into the store to redeem a 5% cashback item. The Lagos-primarily based business also requires commissions for offers and ideas to demand a “heavy onboarding fee” for companies that want to use its APIs for its solutions, which include purchase now, shell out later.
ThankUCash has perfected a single giving: the cashback product exactly where retailers can get a lot more walk-in clients. It is increasing the bargains classification, making it possible for merchants to promote products speedy (by hiring , a Nigerian defunct bargains corporation). And while presently creating out its obtain now pay out later on infrastructure (which gives companies a probability to market solutions regardless of whether or not prospects have dollars or not), ThankUCash ideas to add a fourth providing quickly: a remittance solution the place merchants can promote specifically to the diaspora.
The chief executive does not give details about this products. Meanwhile, its traders, who have doubled down though privy to information like this, are enthused about “the ongoing evolution of the company”, a remark created by Amit Bhatti, the principal at co-direct investor 500 World wide.
“Since likely via 500 Global’s accelerator in 2019, we’ve been amazed by Simeon and the ThankUCash team’s progress in implementing a benefits program that performs for Nigerian shoppers, regardless of cash or credit score or on-line or offline payment,” said the principal. “It’s a gain-win for enterprises and banking companies, also, as TUC presents them the resources and details they will need to increase.”
The 45-guy staff has hired Aaron Tindiseega to guide its growth into Kenya and the japanese Africa region. The Ugandan experienced has knowledge performing for financial institutions and tech firms like Uber, Standard Chartered Lender and Stanbic IBTC. For its expansion into Ghana, Kiki Anku, who has worked at Apple and a pair of startups, will spearhead the undertaking.