<a href="https:\/\/africastalking.com" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Africa\u2019s Talking<\/a>, a Kenyan based communication-platform-as-a-service (\u201ccPAAS\u201d) API startup, has raised\u00a0$8.6 million Series A equity investment from IFC, a member of the World Bank Group to enable it expand its footprint across the continent.\n\nAs part of the deal, Wale Ayeni, who leads IFC\u2019s venture capital activities in Africa, will join the board. Other investors in the round include global venture capital funds Orange Digital Ventures and Social Capital.\u00a0The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals including from the Communications Authority of Kenya.\n\nAccording to\u00a0Samuel Gikandi, CEO and Co-Founder of Africa\u2019s Talking,\u00a0\u201cAfrica\u2019s Talking enables developers in Africa to transform their community through technology, and leveraging on IFC\u2019s breadth of experience in Africa we will work together to catalyze our expansion and build innovative products. Together, we believe that we can build the foundation and environment that developers need to build successful African businesses.\u201d\nAfrica\u2019s Talking\u2019s cloud-based software platform virtualizes telco infrastructure across the continent, and provides unified access via its API (application programming interface) to a robust and growing community of more than 20,000 software developers in Africa currently serving over 1,000 fast-growing digital companies, enabling them to create real world applications faster and more efficiently.\n\nAfrica\u2019s Talking\u2019s scalable platform enables it to service both the one-man shop as well as larger enterprises -- developers, startups, large companies -- to embed messaging, voice, and video communications into their apps, allowing them to better connect with their mass market customers. \u00a0From SMS services that help farmers improve crop yields to voice APIs that connect women to nearby family planning clinics, Africa\u2019s Talking\u2019s simple APIs enable businesses to build robust and value-additive digital products.\n\nThe company is headquartered in Kenya and recently expanded to Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Malawi, and Nigeria. Africa\u2019s Talking aims to create a pan-African platform that enables developers across the continent to create, grow, and sustain strong businesses using their communication solutions.\n\n\u201cAfrica\u2019s Talking\u2019s platform democratizes access to critical digital infrastructure that African start-ups and businesses need to scale,\u201d said Oumar Seydi, IFC Director for sub Saharan Africa.\n\nNikunj Jinsi, IFC Global Head for Venture Capital, said: \u201cIFC\u2019s investment will help Africa\u2019s Talking expand its integrated solution to new markets across Africa, filling a crucial gap and helping fuel the digital economy across the continent.\u201d\n\nIFC supports the mobile technology sector to help promote social inclusion and business growth. \u00a0Over the past three years, IFC has invested over $1.5 billion in telecommunication, technology, and startup companies globally.