Kenyan messaging startup Ongair raises funding from Nest to scale into Asia

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Kenyan startup Ongair, a web-based dashboard that enables businesses to engage with their customers on instant messaging platforms, has raised an undisclosed funding round from VC firm Nest, which it will use to scale into Asia.

Launched 12 months ago, Ongair is the only instant messaging aggregator globally, offering WhatsApp, Messenger, WeChat and Telegram integration. It is being used by a growing list of over 700 businesses around the world, including media, e-commerce platforms, universities, financial institutions and non-profit organisations.

Hong Kong-founded early stage venture capital firm and global innovation accelerator Nest, which launched in Kenya in July, has now made Ongair its first African investment, and will assist the startup in expanding to other markets, primarily Asia.

“With presences in Asia, Europe, Africa and the US, Nest is an ideal partner as we continue to scale our business globally,” said Trevor Kimenye, chief executive officer (CEO) of Ongair.

“We’re excited to have a partner on board that provides us not only capital, but also vast strategic experience and network across these markets. Our goal is to help businesses serve customers and we’ll use the additional resources to support growth, expand strategically into Asian markets and deliver great product to delight our customers around the world.”

Aaron Fu, Nest managing partner for Africa, said the company was excited about the growth Ongair is experiencing, and believes that with this additional capital, network and strategic input, the company can grow even more rapidly and scale into Asia.

“A key reason we are in Nairobi is to be able to take innovation born in Africa, just like Ongair, to the rest of the world, there are lots of innovative startups in Africa with products that have the potential to reach very similar target demographics outside of the continent,” he said.

“We hope to inspire more young African entrepreneurs to design global products and export their innovation to the rest of the world. “

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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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