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GVG to invest $300K in African regtech startups

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Global Voice Group (GVG) wants to invest US$300,000 in African tech startups which are coming up with regulatory technology (regtech) solutions.

GVG is a global provider of ICT and regtech solutions for governments and regulatory bodies and has its main offices in Spain and South Africa.

On the continent it works with customers in Tanzania, Ghana, Senegal, Congo, Gabon, Uganda and Rwanda.

It collects and analyzes big data from crucial economic sectors, including telecoms and financial services, and turns it into actionable information to enable data-driven decision-making in areas such as revenue mobilization, telecom regulation, digital security, financial transactions oversight and mobility data.

"In the current economic climate caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Africa's developing technology ecosystem needs investment and support from established companies such as ourselves more than ever before," said James Gabriel Claude, CEO of GVG.

GVG has monitored more than $5 billion on operators' networks since 2017, while its systems analyze and process 8 billion transactions related to telecoms revenues every day.

So far, it has helped bring 115 million mobile devices into compliance, while between 2008 and 2018 the company said it brought $4.6 billion in revenue to beneficiary countries.

It is now looking to make direct investments in African tech startups and has partnered with Disrupt Africa, as part of its Pipeline service, to identify platforms and solutions that have "synergies" with its business.

"Our aim is to invest in or partner with exceptional entrepreneurs that have unique ideas to assist them in scaling their business models to generate sustainable growth. We do this by leveraging our expertise, access to markets, data and technologies, and by funding these exciting young companies," Claude added.

James Gabriel Claude, CEO of GVG.
James Gabriel Claude, CEO of GVG.

Funding focus

GVG is looking for African startups that have obvious synergies with GVG's core business.

Specific focus areas are digital ID/mobile ID; artificial intelligence/business intelligence; blockchain; data analytics; mobility data; digitization of national payments systems; payment gateways focusing on interoperability; and digital addressing and verification systems.

Any other startup in the govtech or regtech and telco space is also of interest to the company.

Startups can gain access to up to $300,000 in funding, but the average investment size will be between $30,000 and $100,000.

"GVG's preference is to invest for the longer-term where synergies with the startups are strong and realizable, and no exit terms are required," it said.

"This is an exciting opportunity for startups in the developing regtech space, which has gained relatively little attention thus far but is one that is increasing in importance globally," said Tom Jackson, co-founder of Disrupt Africa.

"GVG is a leader in this sector, and the chance to access funding and – just as importantly – support from the firm is one that could help a number of companies across the continent accelerate their development."

Applications for funding and support from GVG are open until December 18,2020.

— The Staff, Connecting Africa

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