Ongair, the Kenyan platform that uses chat apps to provide personal customer care infrastructure for companies has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Nest VC, a new VC and accelerator in the Kenyan ecosystem – the firm expanded operations to Kenya from Hong Kong in July 2015.
The investment is Nest’s first investment into a Kenya company, according to a statement obtained by TechCabal. This is significant in that it shows a certain level of confidence in Ongair’s product and processes.
“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” said Aaron Fu, Managing Partner, Nest Africa.
According to Trevor Kimenye, Ongair CEO, the company will “use the additional resources to support growth, expand strategically into Asian markets and deliver great product to delight our customers around the world.”
Ongair is being used by more than 700 businesses worldwide. Its platform allows companies to interact with their customer using instant messaging. The company does so by layering a dashboard onto existing chat applications including Messenger, Whatsapp, Telegram and WeChat.
In Pursuit of WeChat
Ongair’s decision to roll out in Asia is strategic. “Asia is home to the most sophisticated messaging platform in the world – WeChat,” Trevor tells TechCabal while explaining why Ongair is expanding to Asia.
“WeChat users there can open bank accounts, make payments, order food and so much more from the 10M businesses have a presence on WeChat. We are providing these businesses with an effective customer service tool to keep in touch with their customers.”
This will not only help WeChat keep more people within its social ecosystem, the throng of businesses who are listed on WeChat could become more easily integrated into Ongair. More users for Ongair. This could quadruple Ongair’s user base in a short while.
Trevor said the move into Asia will see it localize some of its content for the region. “We already have an online presence (and are still localizing some of the content on our website e.g https://ongair.im/zh/wechat.”
While getting baked into WeChat, Ongair will also be improving its partnership with Zendesk, the Hong Kong based email-based customer service software Ongair integrated it services into back in March.
“We have a strong partnership with Zendesk in Hong Kong cross-selling each other’s products. This funding will allow us to improve these efforts as well as have a sales and support office for our high end clients,” Trevor said.