Phoenix has successfully closed a $100 million USD Series-A fundraising round. In the round, a well-known sovereign fund joined strategic investors like top internet companies and funds that focus on tech. Since its launch in Nigeria at the end of 2019, the super app has helped more than 400 million people in Africa, Asia, and Latin America through an in-app search engine, content feeds, productivity tools, and a variety of other features that are customized for each country.
The company combines its strengths in AI-powered algorithmic personalization, with both contents feeds and app functionalities highly curated based on user preferences. Local and global hits are juxtaposed with light-relief entertainment, which helps Phoenix win over millions of Africans as their go-to place for daily information and entertainment. Users are encouraged to search, surf, learn, and kill time in the hybrid super app, which also allows them to manage local documents, unzip files, and edit Office documents. Phoenix also goes above and beyond to improve user experiences and address Africa’s inadequate digital infrastructure, as it is designed to allow browsing with low network latency and unstable connections.
Africa, home to the world’s youngest population, has seen a thriving mobile economy and rapid growth in smartphone penetration. Consumption of digital content is also on the rise. However, a lack of aggregation and distribution channels buried a large number of content and creators. As a result, the market requires more efficient indigenous platforms capable of providing seamless browsing experiences and tools that enable users to easily access all types of information in the digital world.
Phoenix wants to stay both localized and diverse as it tries to become the best app in emerging markets. It now supports over 20 languages, including Amharic and Oromo vernaculars. Phoenix thrives as a global cohort that balances international and local perspectives, with teams in 17 countries across Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America, and staff members representing 20 nationalities.
To help creative industries germinate locally, the company sponsored Edo State International Film Festival 2022 in Nigeria which exposes young filmmakers and video creators to world-class directors and their masterclasses. Phoenix believes in the unlimited potential local creativity is able to unleash and is thrilled to contribute to the vibrant cultural scenes in the continent.
Phoenix reaches over 400 million Appstore downloads and over 100 million monthly active users in less than three years. The one-stop experience the app provides guarantees high user engagement and stickiness, as it rises as one of the fastest-growing mobile apps worldwide and the Top 5 most actively-used mobile apps in Africa according to DataSparkle. As users spend more time on the app and their appetites for digital content grow, online marketing on Phoenix emerges as an effective channel to reach customers for brands and companies. Benefiting from the highly personalized recommendation engine, they are now able to communicate with consumers more intimately and creatively.
“Phoenix is thrilled to partake in the digital transformation in Africa and beyond,” said Oluwatosin Sawyerr, the global head of strategic partnership of Phoenix, “we will help more mobile users in the developing world discover and access the best and the most relevant content available. We also aspire to serve our business clients with the most customized and high-quality services, providing them with cutting-edge marketing tools and helping them reach users in ways unseen by conventional advertisements.” With the new round of funding, the team expects to further harness the recommendation engine, refine in-app functions, provide better marketing services, and gear up for global expansion.