April 18, 2018 / 2:29 PM / a year ago

Kenyan mobile survey firm secures $3.5 mln for Africa expansion

NAIROBI, April 18 (Reuters) - mSurvey, a Kenyan start-up that uses mobile phone short-messaging to gather customer feedback for clients, has secured $3.5 million to fund expansion into Nigeria and South Africa, its chief executive said on Wednesday.

The firm, founded in 2012 with backing from Kenyan telecoms operator Safaricom, collects feedback for Kenyan firms including lender CBA Group and Java, a chain of coffee shops.

“We are going to use the funds to expand to Nigeria, where we have just opened an office. South Africa will launch within the next six to eight months,” Kenfield Griffith told Reuters in an interview.

Lack of readily available consumer data is hindering businesses on the continent, he said, potentially locking them out of opportunities offered by a consumer base projected to spend $2.1 trillion a year by 2025.

“mSurvey will give you...a sense of where the value is for the consumer for the business,” Griffith said. “You are talking directly to the consumer.”

The company’s new funding round this month was led by Africa focused venture firm TLcom Capital, with investment from Social Capital, Kapor Capital and Golden Palm.

The new funding round, which was destined for Africa expansion, followed seed investment rounds from Cross Culture Ventures, Alpha Angels and Safaricom’s Spark Venture Fund. Griffith co-founded mSurvey with a Kenyan partner. (Reporting by Omar Mohammed; Editing by Jon Boyle)

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