Untapped Global has raised a US$10.3 million debt and equity pre-seed round to help it scale its smart asset financing model, which finances revenue-generating assets for entrepreneurs and SMEs in Africa and Latin America.
Based in San Francisco, Africa, and Europe with an all-female investment leadership team, Untapped Global aims to empower the next billion entrepreneurs to scale to their full potential by connecting frontier market innovators to global investors online and in-person.
The company recently announced the launch of its public beta platform, which uses real-time data to provide transparency and insights for international investors looking to tap into Africa and other emerging markets. Smart Asset Financing uses IoT from on-the-ground assets to assess risk of investments and deliver real-time data to investors on investment performance to secure lucrative returns.
To date, Untapped Global has financed assets for over 5,000 entrepreneurs across a dozen countries in Africa and Latin America who work across sectors such as clean water, solar, e-mobility, and inclusive fintech. Companies such as Paga Group have worked with Untapped to make access to POS systems more affordable for SMEs throughout Africa.
“Our goal at Paga Group is to make it simple for one billion people to pay, get paid, and access financial services,” said Paga CEO Tayo Oviosu. “The team at Untapped is aligned with that goal, and our current partnership showcases its objective to ensure that entrepreneurs have the opportunity to scale to their full potential.”
The Untapped investment platform is now accessible to accredited investors to use and see how their investments are performing in real-time. The platform is open for anyone to sign up, and will be available for retail investors at the end of 2022. Jim Chu, CEO and founder of Untapped Global, said the rapid digitisation happening across Africa and other frontier markets makes now the ideal time to explore investing in these economies.
“There’s a US$5.2 trillion funding gap for SMEs in emerging markets, such as Africa, Asia and Latin America. We created Untapped to get capital to entrepreneurs in markets who are often excluded from funding opportunities, while simultaneously ensuring transparency for investors. This is just the beginning of the democratization of investing around the world. Our data has shown that for every US$1 invested, more than US$3 of value is created in local economies,” he said.