Wowzi, a Kenyan startup that makes scalable influencer campaigns has secured a total funding of $3.2m. The funding comes from $2m in seed round and $1.2m in pre-seed round.
The seed round was led by 4DX Ventures with participation from To.org, Golden Palm Investments, LoftyInc Capital, Afropreneur Angels, and Future Africa. Other contributors include Andela co-founder Christina Sass, and former Andela executives Jessica Chervin, Justin Ziegler. There was also an investment from Johnny Falla, who currently serves as chief development and growth officer at Wowzi.
Wowzi has already established operations in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, all East African countries. With this investment, the startup is setting its focus on West Africa, Nigeria and Ghana in particular, as well as on South Africa. The startup also has plans to increase product offerings and features.
We are primarily focused on expanding across Africa in 2022 and in other emerging markets globally. We are also adding new product capabilities and features, as we continue to develop our technology and provide additional value to our communities.Wowzi co-founder and CEO, Brian Mogeni.
$23m paid to influncers
Wowzi was founded in 2019 by Brian Mogeni, Hassan Bashir and Mike Otieno. It is a digital advertising marketplace that connects brands, agencies, and SMEs with nano, micro and mega (celebrities) social media influencers.
The startup focuses on social media users with at least 250 followers, known as nano influencers and less than 10,000 followers; micro-influencers. These influencers are vigorously verified by Wowzi before they are contracted to carry out marketing campaigns for brands through their social media accounts on sites like Tik Tok, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Wowzi creates distributed messaging campaigns for clients, utilising thousands of real, everyday customers and fans who get paid to offer authentic endorsements online. Using Wowzi, brands can choose their preferred influencers based on characteristics like gender, location, profession or income levels.
“Managing influencers is difficult; from establishing contact, negotiations, contracting, ensuring that content is delivered and is posted on time to following up on payment. It is a lot of work. We manage the entire process with the brand to make sure that it’s successful.Johnny Falla, chief development and growth officer Wowzi
In the East African region, the startup has so far signed up 60,000 influencers primarily by word of mouth. It has also carried out 15,000 campaigns for over 200 clients, one of which is Netflix. Wowzi has delivered over 200,000 paid gigs, paying out Sh5 million ($44k) every week to influencers amounting to Sh260 million ($23m) every year.
1 million job opportunities
Wowzi has successfully conducted campaigns across multiple markets in Africa including Mauritius, Mozambique, Zambia and Cameroon. The plan is now is to move from just being an influencer marketing platform to a jobs aggregator.
More recently, brands are able to post market research jobs including the engagement of influencers in polls or surveys.
Now that Wowzi has created the technology platform to efficiently distribute and manage job offers to thousands of youth at a time, brands have an opportunity to engage directly with youth and offer meaningful gig workBrian Mogeni
With its expansion plans into Nigeria, Ghana and South Africa, the startup plans to expand partnerships with local, regional, and multinational FMCG companies, telcos, banks, creative agencies, and development institutions to create job opportunities for young people.
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