Kenyan startup Ongair secures Sh13M funding to expand to Asia

December 17, 2015
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Ongair Trevor Gichuki
Trevor Kimenye (CEO & Co-Founder, Ongair) and Charles Gichuki (COO & Co-founder). The two had founded Sprout, a digital lab and creative agency before Ongair.

, Instant messaging aggregator startup Ongair has closed a $125,000 (Sh13M) funding from investors led by Nest VC, Zeytin Limited, Venture Kinetics and other angel investors. The funding will go towards expansion in Asia with a base in Hong Kong to cover ASEAN countries.

Ongair’s web-based dashboard enables businesses to engage with customers on instant messaging platforms like WhatsApp, Messenger, Telegram and WeChat.

Since its inception 12 months ago, Ongair has been actively used by a growing list of businesses around the world, including media, e-commerce platforms, universities, financial institutions and nonprofit organizations.

Ongair, which is the only IM aggregator worldwide offering WhatsApp, Messenger, WeChat and Telegram integration, has enterprise customers including TecnoBuy in Costa Rica,  Denmark’s Zeker.ME, Petsy in Mexico, Uruguay’s CoreFone and Navitas global among other clients in Asia, Europe and South America.

In Kenya and Nigeria, Ongair has worked with AMREF Health Africa, Cheki Africa, Chase Bank, EliteBet, JamboPay, OLX, and Heineken.

“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,” said Trevor Kimenye, CEO and Co-founder of Ongair.

Ongair’s product features include: Multiple agent support, Reports and Analytics, a RestFul API, Integration into popular CRM platforms like Zendesk among others, Ongair is also the leading IM to Zendesk platform in the world.

Expansion in Asia will also include entering the China market with weChat integration.

“We are very excited about the growth Ongair is experiencing and believe that with this additional capital, network and strategic input, the company can grow even more rapidly and scale into Asia with Nest’s support to set up in Hong Kong and enter China” said Aaron Fu, Managing Partner, Nest, Africa.

“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. 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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