Connected Analytics, the parent company of ThankUCash, has announced its seed raise.
ThankUCash is a platform that enables merchants give rewards (in the form of cashback and points) seamlessly to their customers. Giving rewards helps build loyalty for the merchant while also collecting customer data for analytics, targeting and decision-making purposes.
Connected Analytics' seed round was led by Betatron Venture Group, a Hong Kong-based VC firm investing in early-stage startups. Other institutional and Angel investors like Accelerex Holdings, 500 Startup & Predictive VC and Craig Fenton & Brandon Drew participated in the round, respectively. Fenton is the Head of Strategy and Operations for Google UK while Drew is a General Partner at SaaS Growth Ventures, a San Francisco-based Venture Fund.
Before this seed round, they had raised a pre-seed round of $320,000 from Microtraction, Niche Capital, Guan Company, Victor Imevbore, and Idris Aluvankudi of Click capital. Connected Analytics also benefited from grants and accelerators like Google Launchpad, which came with some additional cash, server credit and tools.
Founded in 2018 by Simeon Ononobi (CEO), Madonna Ononobi (COO), Suraj Supekar (CTO), Connected Analytics has become one of Nigeria’s leading rewards platforms. Their leadership team has also grown to include Harshal Gandole (Co-founder and Senior VP, Tech) and Maimuna Onyejemezi (VP, Finance & Strategy). "Maimuna has been a really good addition to our team. She believed 1,000% in our dream and has contributed greatly to our growth", says Simeon in a conversation with Benjamindada.com. Maimuna worked at KPMG for about 12 years before Consulting for ThankUCash in 2019 and eventually joining full-time in 2020.
The multi-merchant rewards platform allows customers to earn rewards whenever they shop with merchants listed on the app. The rewards can then be used to make purchases or get benefits at any other merchant on the ThankUCash network.
So far, the company has been able to sign on merchants like ENYO Retail, Dana Airlines, Medmart, Gleeword, and PriceRite.
The company has gathered some traction too. According to Simeon Ononobi, ThankUCash has over 300,000 users. Before the covid-19 pandemic struck, it had over 800,000 users but the lockdown led to a drop in in-store visits ergo the drop in users. The easing of the lockdown, however, has begun to bring the user numbers back up.
In addition to its mobile app offering, the company also developed an API that can be used by vendors to create reward programmes for their customers. Banks have begun to adopt the API to bring discounts and rewards to their customers.
So far, the company has done transactions worth over $40 million and is poised to do more. Simeon hinted at multiple partnerships with banks and one of Africa’s largest fintech firms. The partnerships are projected to take the company’s customer base to over 2 million and increase revenue exponentially. "We have about 2 million users to onboard", Simeon tells benjamindada.com.
With the new raise, Connected Analytics plans to strengthen its infrastructure to integrate bigger players and serve more customers. Increasing capacity will also come with an increase in human resources. At the moment, the startup has around 30 employees. It hopes to increase the numbers to 40 employees in the coming months.
The raise will also be used to solidify the company’s footprint in Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital. The startup hopes to be able to help more businesses access reliable, decision-aiding data that can help them offer the best services to their clients.
Furthermore, Simeon revealed in an conversation with Benjamindada.com that the company would be rolling out their app for mSMEs within the next few weeks. The potential for that is interesting as it allows small businesses to create reward systems for their most loyal customers.
"Statistics have shown that 67% of businesses will not die if they have data. Businesses are dying everyday because they do not have data. Your average, local, neighbourhood retailer is unable to reach their loyal customers with deals on overdue items in their warehouse that can guarantee sales. We are building an analytics app for businesses that want to give rewards", Simeon tells benjamindada.com.
“Businesses are dying everyday cause they don't have data” -Simeon Ononobi.
The company is not resting on its oars, though. Simeon told us that they would raise a Series A between April and May. The raise will help the company complete more strategic deals and expand its offering to more customers all around the country.