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Strong growth in SA extends Talk360 seed funding to $7m

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Pictured from left to right: Hans Osnabrugge, Jorne Schamp and Dean Hiine.

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, 3 October 2022 -/African Media Agency(AMA)/- International calling app Talk360, which enables people around the world to make reliable and affordable calls to any landline or mobile phone worldwide, has secured an additional $3 million in seed round funding, taking its total seed round to $7 million after its first closing in May. The funds will help the company grow its market share in South Africa, drive its growth on the rest of the continent and launch its market first pan-African payment platform in 2023.

The latest round of funding includes new South African investors like Allan Gray E2 Ventures (AGEV), Kalon Venture Partners, E4E Africa, Endeavor, existing lead investor HAVAÍC and angel investors in the form of the co-founders of TymeBank, Tjaart van der Walt and Coenraad Jonker.

In the past year, Talk360 has seen 167% growth in customers and 130% revenue growth, and has nearly doubled the number of calling minutes to and from South Africa, on the back of what it calls a ‘significantly improved’ distribution network. 

Founded in 2016 by Dutch entrepreneurs Hans Osnabrugge and Jorne Schamp and South African venture builder Dean Hiine, the company connected 2.3 million people worldwide so far this year. Hiine says it has doubled its headcount this year as it looks to aggressively grow the business. 

“Our mission is to bridge distance and connect lives by offering reliable, affordable, and easy-to-use digital services, delivered in a localised manner to all communities, particularly emerging countries, so they can connect to the world,” said Hiine. “But we’re not just solving socio-economic issues: we’re also offering micro-entrepreneurship and income generating opportunities to our growing network of agents across the country.”

Talk360’s agent model in South Africa is key to its success, with agents earning cash for every customer referred. The company has seen a 33% growth in agents, bringing in over 800% more customers over the past year, as it looks to build micro-entrepreneurship, bring income opportunities & jobs to under serviced communities and grow its footprint.

Clive Butkow, the CEO of Kalon, said the Talk360 team had ‘a wealth of experience’ in the communications space in South Africa and across the continent. “We’re excited to add this investment to the Kalon portfolio, and believe it has the potential to rapidly scale across Africa,” he said.

Ian Lessem, managing partner at HAVAÍC, said the fact the initial seed round target was oversubscribed is a testament to Talk360’s remarkable traction to date and growth potential.

“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,” said Lessem.

Tjaart van der Walt said the Tyme founders were investing because Talk360 enables potentially millions of people in remote areas to make and receive calls more affordably. “We see this need for many years to come. We believe in the Talk360 team: they are passionate and purposeful, and can execute,” he said.

Hiine expects Talk360’s growth to be further boosted when it launches its pan-African payment platform in 2023. 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. This year alone, Talk360 has added six new currencies, added African-specific payment methods such as OTT vouchers, and grown its partnerships with local solutions such as Kazang and Blu voucher. 

Distributed by African Media Agency (AMA) on behalf of Talk360.

About Talk360:

Talk360 is an easy-to-use calling app that helps people around the world to make reliable and affordable calls to any landline or mobile phone worldwide. Today, 41% of the world has no access to the internet, and the most heavily hit are the underserviced communities in emerging countries. By 2027, over 50% of the African population will still not have continuous and reliable Internet. Current free calling options require both caller and receiver to have internet and a smartphone. Other offline solutions are expensive. This makes basic things, such as calling friends and family, complicated and expensive. Talk360 bridges that distance and provides phone calls to any offline landline or mobile phone in the world. Talk360 is Africa’s leading international calling app and supports all the local African payment currencies, including cash. Talk360 connected two million people worldwide in 2021.

For more information: www.talk360.com/about

About Dean Hiine:

South African serial entrepreneur and venture builder, Dean Hiine, is the co-founder and managing director of Talk360 in Africa. Dean plays a crucial role in executing the company’s vision – to deliver European tech with localised, African executional tactics that will lead to faster innovation and adoption. He has extensive experience in business development coupled with a comprehensive background in technology, software development and complex IT-architectures.

Having grown up in South Africa, Dean has a deep understanding of local needs and how best to deliver digital solutions that encourage and support local business development. His vision of bridging the ever-increasing digital divide across Africa fuels his passion and entrepreneurial spirit.

For any media related queries or to request a media kit please contact:

Syreeta van Rooyen

S.vanrooyen@bdcomms.co.za

0833970501

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African Media Agency -English

The Global Benefits of Online Transfers in Zimbabwe

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Byline: By Susan Sitemere, Country Manager, Zimbabwe, and South Africa, WorldRemit

HARARE, Zimbabwe, 23 November, 2022,-/African Media Agency (AMA)/- A combination of rapidly evolving technology and the restrictions imposed by the COVID -19 pandemic has resulted in nothing short of a revolution in the online money transfer sector.

Globally, there have been drastic shifts in how people pay for goods and services, with electronic payments increasingly displacing traditional cash and more recently, cryptocurrency and digital currencies emerging in the market1.

In Zimbabwe, the use of mobile money has become pivotal to the way that citizens interact and exchange money during the pandemic. The number of active mobile money subscribers in the country increased from 4.05 million to 4.13 million in 20222. According to the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, mobile money interactions witnessed a steady upward trend with average monthly growth of 21% and 16% in volumes and values2. This movement has been truly significant at all levels of society, with users taking advantage of the rapidly evolving technologies of mobile wallets and contactless cards to make payments and move their money around the globe.

According to the World Bank, mobile money accounts drove a massive increase in financial inclusion in Sub – Saharan Africa as two–thirds of adults worldwide now send or receive digital payments, with the share in developing economies increasing from 35% in 2014 to 57% in 20213.

For many in Western society, the acceleration in technology makes for an easier and more convenient experience when dealing with digital remittances. However, for those citizens of emerging countries, the innovation and growth surrounding the global payments sector is resulting in a wide range of benefits.

Digital remittances are a lifeline

Remittances hugely sheltered many Zimbabwean families from the challenging economic situation that COVID-19 brought over the last few years, with remittances sent to Zimbabwe surging from about US$ 1 billion in 2020 to US$1.4 billion in 2021. The country also hit record-high foreign currency inflows of US$9.7 billion during that period.

With statistics like that, it is essential that adequate systems are put in place to make money transfers a secure and straightforward procedure. Online money transfers help countries gain financial inclusion in emerging markets, thus improving economic development and alleviating poverty.

Banking for the unbanked

According to the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, the number of financially included Zimbabweans reached 83% this year, with about 12.45 million now on banking platforms through various systems, including mobile money. This comes after 14 tough years for Zimbabweans, who first grappled with domestic currency shortages before the local currency crashed in 20085.

Until recently, migrant communities faced several stressful challenges when sending money abroad. Long queues, unfamiliar paperwork, and sky-high fees were usual hurdles at the beginning of a transfer that could take weeks to process. Once the money had finally reached its destination, the recipients needed access to banks or shops to collect their cash.

Today, with digital payment services like WorldRemit, people can receive money in a matter of minutes through airtime top-ups, cash pick up, and transfers to their EcoCash mobile wallets. 

These options that allow people to choose how to receive their money are essential in countries like Zimbabwe here in sub-Saharan Africa, where a significant proportion of the population remains unbanked. 

Fortunately, this choice is facilitated by a boom in cheap and widely available smartphones that allow consumers and small enterprises to transfer money at the touch of a button seamlessly. Aided by FinTech vision and investment, Africa has become a world leader in mobile money. Again, the economic upshift facilitated by the new technology has contributed to a drop in the number of households living in poverty.

A safe and convenient service

Digital payments service, WorldRemit uses industry-leading technology to enhance protection for online money transfers. This technology is also swift, meaning that most transfers are ready within minutes.

The increase in secure digital remittances, especially mobile-to-mobile transfers, has lowered the need for cash transactions. Consequently, opportunistic crime in many cash-heavy markets has been reduced, however, cybercrime remains a very present threat, which money transfer companies must work hard to combat.

Moving forward together

The transition to digital payments and online money transfers has positively impacted migrant communities and emerging countries. This transition has made the process of sending remittances easier and more secure. It has also lowered the barriers to financial inclusion in emerging countries by allowing people without bank accounts to receive money quickly.

By offering flexible ways of sending and receiving money, more people worldwide can access financial services and ultimately free themselves from the manacles of poverty.

Find out how WorldRemit can help you move your money around with online digital payments.

Distributed by African Media Agency (AMA) on behalf of WorldRemit.

Notes to Editors

1.   Chambers and partners. Fintech 2022. March 2022

2.   ITWeb Mobile money gains traction in Zimbabwe – despite regulatory wrangling. Feb 2022

3.   World Bank Group. Covid – 19 Drives Global Surge in use of Digital Payments. June 2022

4.   Press Reader. Business Weekly Zimbabwe. June 2022

5.   Press Reader. Markets warm up to financial inclusion strategy. August 2022

About WorldRemit

We’re a leading global payments company and, along with Sendwave, part of Zepz, a group powering two global payments brands. 

We disrupted an industry previously dominated by offline legacy players by taking international money transfers online – making them safer, faster and lower cost. We currently send from 50 countries to recipients in 130 countries, operate in more than 5,000 money transfer corridors worldwide and employ over 1,200 people globally.

On the sending side WorldRemit is 100% digital (cashless), increasing convenience and enhancing security. For those receiving money, the company offers a wide range of options including bank deposit, cash collection, mobile airtime top-up and mobile money.

Backed by Accel, TCV and Leapfrog – WorldRemit’s headquarters are in London, United Kingdom with regional offices around the world.

www.worldremit.com

Media Contact

WorldRemit Press Office

media@worldremit.com

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African Media Agency -English

The 2022 U.S.-Africa Business Forum and Multiple Sideline Events in Washington DC

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WASHINGTON, DC, USA,22 November 2022, /African Media Agency/-The Corporate Council on Africa is pleased to announce it is co-hosting the 2022 U.S.-Africa Business Forum (USABF) on December 14, which will bring together African heads of state and U.S. and African business and government leaders to discuss the most promising sectors in which to advance mutually beneficial two-way trade and investment. USABF is a key pillar of the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit (USALS) which U.S. President Joe Biden will host in Washington, DC, December 13-15.

Under the theme, “Partnering for a Prosperous and Resilient Future,” USABF will be hosted by the U.S. Department of Commerce, Corporate Council on Africa (CCA), and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the Prosper Africa initiative. The goal of the USABF forum is to bolster Africa’s role in the global economy, scale innovation and entrepreneurship, create jobs, drive advancements in key economic sectors, and foster inclusive and sustainable growth on both sides of the Atlantic.

The invitation-only USABF will feature networking opportunities for over 500 attendees and a series of high-profile panels featuring leading U.S. and African CEOs, African Heads of State, and heads of U.S. Government agencies focused on topics and sectors critical to the present and future of U.S.-Africa trade and investment relations.

The Corporate Council on Africa will also host multiple side events from December 11-16 with topics spanning trade, food security, climate change and health (click here for more information on several side events that CCA will host). With speaker confirmations already rolling in, CCA is pleased to announce the folloing African Heads of State who have confirmed their attendance and will be guest speakers:

·    H.E. Filipe Nyusi, President of the Republic of Mozambique

·    H.E. Mokgweetsi Masisi, Republic of Botswana

·    H.E. William Ruto, President of Kenya

·    H.E. Muhammadu Buhari, President of Nigeria

“The U.S.-Africa Business Forum is a momentous occasion to continue building bridges between the United States and Africa and forge two-way trade and investment partnerships. The Corporate Council on Africa is honored to work with our partners at the U.S. Department of Commerce, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and Prosper Africa to unite U.S. and African government and private sector leaders to engage on several critical issues impacting the U.S.-Africa economic relationship. We look forward to the business connections that will be made, the new deals that will be solidified and the new partnerships that will be launched,” says Florie Liser, President and CEO of Corporate Council on Africa.  

For more information about the U.S.-Africa Business Forum, please visit the CCA’s website

For questions about the 2022 U.S.-Africa Business Forum, please email USABF2022@trade.gov.

For questions about CCA’s sideline events, please email usabf@corporatecouncilonafrica.com

Distributed byAfrican Media Agencyon behalf of Corporate Council on Africa

ABOUT CORPORATE COUNCIL ON AFRICA (CCA)

Corporate Council on Africa is the leading U.S. business association focused solely on connecting business interests between the United States and Africa. CCA uniquely represents a broad cross section of member companies from small and medium size businesses to multinationals as well as U.S. and African firms. Learn more at www.corporatecouncilonafrica.com

Media Contact:

Stacey Pompey, spompey@corporatecouncilonafrica.com 

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African Media Agency -English

Hantec Financial set on further global expansion into African markets

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HONG KONG, SAR, 22 November 2022,-/African Media Agency (AMA)/- Hantec Financial an award-winning brand, under Hantec Group, officially announced its ongoing global expansion into Rwanda. Hantec offers its prestigious financial services and opens the doorway to new global trading opportunities.

Global regulated and offering diversified financial service

Hantec with over 30 years of experience and authorized with 12 regulatory licenses, is constantly exploring opportunities to expand its business to new markets. The group is now present in 19 cities across 14 countries worldwide, covering Greater China, Thailand, Vietnam, Japan, Australia, the UK, Europe, South America, the Middle East, Africa etc. Also offers a variety of financial assets including forex, CFDs, commodities, indices and US stocks with competitive spread and leverage. 

A credible brand to ensure fund safety and secure trading

Hantec Financial as a trusted financial service provider believes in the power of technology to protect customer assets and improve service levels, it continuously optimizes its platform by keeping up with changes in the market and adapting to investor preferences.

The team has obtained the ISO 27001 and ISO 20000 international certifications. It ensures that Hantec Financial meets the international security level in the power of protecting customer assets and offers a smooth, stable, and safe trading experience for investors.

Hantec Financial strive to deliver professional localized financial services for all

In 2022, Fxdailyinfo.com awarded Hantec Financial as “Best Forex Broker APAC” at the Broker Awards 2022 to recognise its professional and excellent financial services in the APAC region. Hantec Financial has the expertise and experience to make high-quality investment services for all people. 

“Expanding the footprint into Rwanda and the rest of Africa enables us to offer more international trading opportunities for our valued clients,” said Freddy, CEO of Hantec Group. Hantec Financial also draws up a highly localized approach by cultivating local teams, and integrating local culture into its operations, to serve investors and clients from all over the globe.

Distributed by African Media Agency (AMA) on behalf of Hantec Financial

About Hantec Financial:

https://hantecfinancial.com/

Media Contact: 

csd@hantec.com

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