Showlove, a Nigerian social platform for gifting, has raised $300,000 in pre-seed funding as the first version of its product goes live.
Showlove, founded in 2020 by Chikodi Ukaiwe, Joshua Biyere, and Seye Bandele, simplifies the process of requesting, giving, and receiving gifts and cash, as well as helping African businesses in marketing their products and services.
The startup aims to establish a fun community, or social network, where people can express their wants and needs with a small group of people or the general public. Thousands of vendors, SMEs, and hypermarkets are also connected via APIs.
Showlove launched a public beta in December 2020, allowing users to buy electronic gift vouchers for their loved ones from a variety of Nigerian businesses. The company has now launched a full version of its product, allowing users to buy gifts and deals, create and share Wishlists, and send and receive cash, all of which are backed by a digital wallet.
At the same time, it has announced a US$300,000 pre-seed funding round, raised from Fedha Capital and other angel investors. Ukaiwe, once of Jumia and Konga, said the startup was solving a “peculiar problem”.
“In our personal lives we have experienced difficulty knowing exactly what people want when we want to share gifts with them randomly or on their special occasions. There is no real way to know exactly what a person wants without having to ask them directly, which ruins the whole experience,” he said.
Users can compile a list of gifts from anywhere on the internet and share it with their friends and family using Showlove’s Wishlist function, which can be shared directly or through connection with other social media. People can then either contribute to the gift’s purchasing or give them the whole amount.
“Before now people were paying for gifts using debit cards, USSD and bank transfers. Now we are introducing a wallet that really simplifies that process, you can basically pay for anything or accept payments with your wallet. And if buying gifts isn’t your cup of tea, you can send cash to your friends at zero cost,” Ukaiwe said.