African market intelligence startup Asoko Insight raises $1.35m seed funding round

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African provider of corporate information and market intelligence Asoko Insight has completed a US$1.35 million fundraising round, as it accelerates its rollout across the region’s most dynamic economies.

Launched in 2013, Asoko has research bases in Accra, Lagos and Nairobi, assisting more than 1,000 businesses in those three countries. With this funding round, it plans to extend regional operations and build out the technology behind its digital platform.

The round was led by international media investment group North Base Media (NBM) and CRE Venture Capital, an investment firm focused on technology-enabled businesses across Sub-Saharan Africa, with the two companies joining a group of prominent angel investors as shareholders.

“This new funding will allow us to give customers insight on even more companies across Africa, while adding analytics in a seamless user experience. Africa’s got great corporations. Now it has great corporate data, available to everyone,” said Rob Withagen, co-founder and managing director of Asoko Insight.

Asoko represents a new and innovative approach to conducting business development and due diligence, claiming to lower the cost of doing business, and make available intelligent and regularly updated information for regional and global corporates, investors, lenders, professional service providers, DFIs and governments looking to engage with African companies.

“The rapid growth and modernization of African national economies is creating enormous demand for sophisticated, reliable information about business and companies,” said NBM managing partner Marcus Brauchli, who will join Asoko’s board.

Pardon Makumbe, founding partner at CRE Venture Capital, said one of the longest standing, but also understated, impediments to doing business in Africa has been the scarcity and cost of high quality, intelligent and actionable corporate and market information.

“Asoko’s pan-African business intelligence platform is tackling this challenge head-on, and will transform how people do business in Africa,” Makumbe said.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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