ThankUCash, a Nigerian multi-merchant rewards network, has secured US $5.3 million in early capital to help it expand into other countries and develop new products.
ThankUCash, which was co-founded in 2018 by Simeon Ononobi, Suraj Supekar, Madonna Ononobi, and Harshal Gandole, gives cashback on purchases and discounts from hundreds of retailers, allowing companies to keep customer loyalty, improve sales, and expand.
The firm has over 600,000 users on its network and has onboarded over 1,000 retailers, handling over $80 million in transaction volume.
With participation from Expert Dojo, Predictive VC, SaaS Growth Ventures, Betatron, Accelerex Holding, former HSBC CEO Andrew Dell, Google director of strategy and operations Craig Fenton, and others, the US $5.3 million seed round was co-led by 500 Global (ThankUCash participated in the 26th edition of the Silicon Valley-based accelerator back in 2020) and Unicorn Growth Capital.
ThankUCash now works in Lagos, Abuja, and Port Harcourt, with intentions to expand to additional cities throughout Nigeria and into Ghana and Kenya with the monies raised. It will also launch two new products: a remittance service and a BNPL infrastructure (buy now, pay later).
Customers will be able to connect with businesses via credit and lending facilities thanks to the startup’s technological infrastructure.
“The technology is such that we have our machines in stores. So as customers request loans, we generate a code for it, customers input it into the PoS machine, and the merchant gets credited directly. The code can only be used in the store chosen and only for the loan amount requested, such that at the end of the day the customer is buying straight from the merchants. We’re opening this infrastructure to everybody and want to actually give that platform to loan companies,” Simeon Ononobi, the startup’s CEO, said.
ThankUCash’s growth while participating in 500 Global’s accelerator has impressed Amit Bhatti, principal at 500 Global, who stated the business has built a rewards system that works for Nigerian consumers regardless of cash, credit, or online or offline payment.
“It’s a win-win for businesses and banks too, as ThankUCash gives them the tools and data they need to grow. Now as partnerships have expanded their reach to many more potential users and new markets across Africa, we’re excited to support the continued evolution of the company,” he said.
ThankUCash’s interoperable loyalty rewards and merchant platform, according to Barbara Iyayi, managing founding partner at Unicorn Growth Capital, is “a vital aspect of the future of fintech” as customers make more digital transactions.
“As a category leader with a large installed base, ThankUCash is well-positioned to transform the financial infrastructure for merchants and consumers, unlocking new opportunities for the digital economy,” she said.