Elloe.ai a US-based conversational commerce (c-commerce) startup focused on Kenya and emerging markets, has raised $1 million in pre-seed round of financing. The round was led by Philippines Mad Ventures, Inc, a venture capital firm.
Founded by Cambridge graduate and serial entrepreneurs, Owen Sakawa, co-founded by Abhijay Rao and Aaron Madolora, Elloe is a first-of-its-kind AI-powered, conversational commerce platform which allows SMEs to buy and sell products online across any messaging platform.
Conversational commerce allows businesses to sell products in a personalized way through messaging apps by bridging the proximity of the physical world with the convenience of digital commerce. According to a Gartner report, c-commerce is already a $35 billion market with the potential to reach $130 billion by 2025 in emerging markets, where it represents 60% of digital commerce and 8 out of 10 consumers are exposed to online shopping exclusively via c-commerce. Messaging is becoming the primary way consumers and businesses communicate. 75% of consumers want to be able to message a business. But businesses currently lack a digital solution tailored to their business to handle a large volume of conversations and fail to effectively integrate shopping and booking in chat.
“At Elloe, we believe that AI-driven conversations between businesses and their consumers can drive customer experiences in areas and platforms where consumers are already engaged,”
“Our technology is platform-agnostic and can be embedded in any messaging app, making it extremely convenient for businesses to be where consumers are. Elloe’s conversational commerce platform boosts business sales and profitability by streamlining operations, logistics, payments, and marketing through a centralized merchant portal.”
The subscription service is especially helpful for micro-SMEs who wish to sell their products and services online without having to pay high commissions to non-essential 3rd parties.
Speaking about the investment, Owen Sakawa, Elloe’s founder and Chief Executive Officer, said,
“we are honored to help businesses thrive and become more customer-centric through conversational commerce. For a long time, digital transformation was synonymous with complexity; that is no longer the case. Conversational commerce is a simple technology solution that allows businesses to meet end-users where they are already — in their favorite mobile communication channels. This round of funding will be used to expand our local Kenyan operations and fuel our expansion into the Philippine and Southeast Asian markets well into 2023 and beyond.”
“In response to the demands of emerging-market businesses and consumers, Mad Ventures continues to make significant progress in providing digital livelihood options to the unemployed and unbanked,”
said Aaron Madolara, group CEO of Mad Ventures, Inc.
“We are thrilled to be collaborating with Elloe to broaden our collective reach and assist businesses, particularly underserved micro-SMEs, in realizing their full potential.”