Tappi Secures $1.5M Pre-Seed Funding to Advance Digital Commerce for African SMEs

tappi, an innovative digital commerce SaaS solution focused on empowering Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs), recently concluded a highly successful $1.5M Pre-Seed funding round led by Mercy Corps Ventures and Chui Ventures. The investment, which garnered support from key players such as Digital Currency Group, SOSV, and others, seeks to elevate SME visibility and trust within Africa’s burgeoning digital commerce sphere.

Founded by Kenfield Griffith and Louis Majanja in 2022, tappi champions the digitization of Africa’s $20 billion SME market, offering cost-effective SaaS tools from $2/month. Collaborating with major mobile network operators and financial institutions, tappi targets over 100 million SMEs across the continent.

Employing AI-driven operations in Kenya and Nigeria, tappi simplifies online business profile creation through intuitive chat experiences. The company’s holistic digital commerce stack intertwines Payments, Messaging, and AI, striving to bolster SME revenues via enhanced online visibility, verified reviews, and innovative payment options. To date, tappi has captured verified reviews on $3M worth of consumer transactions and engaged over 150,000 consumers.

With this infusion of funds, tappi plans to amplify its presence in current markets, intensifying direct sales efforts and forming strategic alliances. The company aims to leverage its successful collaboration with MTN Nigeria, experiencing a remarkable 19% month-over-month growth in business ads and data bundle subscriptions. Additionally, investments will fuel talent acquisition and overall brand amplification.

Kenfield Griffith, tappi’s CEO, expressed gratitude for the support, emphasizing the drive to empower overlooked service sectors like food services, fashion, agriculture, and health and beauty across Africa. He highlighted the investment’s pivotal role in fostering verified digital identities for SMEs, aiding in customer acquisition and partnerships.

Hetal Patel, Director of Investments at Mercy Corps Ventures, emphasized the alignment between tappi’s mission and their goal of inclusivity and resilience development among African SMEs. The investment underscores a commitment to address the gaps faced by a significant portion of underserved businesses, especially amidst challenges spurred by climate change.

The recent 2023 Africa MSME Pulse Survey revealed a growing reliance on technology tools by 62% of respondents, indicating a substantial opportunity in the digital commerce landscape. tappi’s dedication to nurturing trust and propelling economic growth across Africa positions it as a vital player poised to meet this escalating demand.

MTN Nigeria, through Lynda Saint-Nwafor, expressed enthusiasm for their collaboration with tappi and the joint initiative MTN Thryve, which aims to empower SMEs with digital tools using MTN data bundles and airtime for Facebook and Instagram Ads. This partnership aligns with MTN’s vision to support SMEs’ growth through tech-driven solutions, fostering success stories within their markets.