Kenyan ad-tech startup AIfluence raises $1m seed funding round

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Kenyan ad-tech startup AIfluence has raised a US$1 million seed funding round to accelerate the expansion of its AI-powered marketing platform.

Founded by Nelson Aseka (CEO), George Issaias (CMO), Lamusia Anzaya (COO) and Ankit Jindal (CTO), AIfluence leverages advanced machine learning algorithms to match influencers with a target demographic through its audience-first strategy. 

The platform further allows advertisers to onboard and coordinate hundreds to thousands of micro and nano influencers per campaign, generating authentic peer to peer conversations and superior conversion. AIfluence’s data-driven approach is used by regional and global advertisers across FMCG, banking, travel and electronics in 13 countries in Africa and Asia.

AIfluence’s US$1 million seed round is led by the Dubai-based EQ2 Ventures and joined by Antler East Africa, Nigerian VC Oui Capital, ArabyAds and a European family office. AIfluence was part of Antler’s inaugural Nairobi cohort in 2020.

The funds will be used by the startup to expand into the rest of Africa, the Middle East and Asia by the end of 2021, and to further invest into AIfluence’s tech and SaaS platform.

“We are at the cusp of a revolution, globally the way marketing works is changing. We find ourselves at an intersection of advanced technology and the fastest-growing region in the world in terms of digital and social media penetration. It’s an exciting place to be. Africa’s rich tradition for storytelling is alive and kicking,” said Nelson Aseka. 

“We simply enable such stories to be shared between peers who know and trust each other, and can place our brand messages into the heart of this communication ecosystem. We believe anyone can be an influencer.  Our guiding philosophy is that influence is not a profession, it’s an outcome.”

Patrick Thiriet, CEO of EQ2 Ventures, said “people are the new media” in today’s digital world, and that AIfluence was uniquely positioned to turn this reality into tangible results for advertisers. 

“We’ve been impressed by the team’s obsession to use data in order to spread authentic and relevant messages to the right audience. This is what advertising should always be. We’re looking forward to AIfluence’s journey ahead,” he 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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