Kenyan Fundraising Startup Raise Secures Investment from US-based firm Carta
Raise, an end-to-end fundraising platform, has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Carta, a San Francisco-based company that specializes in capitalization table management and valuation software.
Founded in 2018 by Marvin Coleby and Eugene Mutai, Raise launched its alpha in 2019 at the Africa Tech Summit in Kigali and later on launched its private beta to a waitlist of companies in January 2020 and later on went public in June 2020.
Having started their operation at Nairobi Garage // Kilimani, the Raise platform is designed to simplify cap table management for startups and companies operating within the African ecosystem, providing a comprehensive solution for managing shareholding structure, both before and after fundraising, allowing businesses to focus on growth and building a successful future.
Raise has now secured funding from Carta, the world’s largest ownership platform, which is attempting to build a global stock exchange for private companies. Carta has raised US$1.2 billion dollars and scaled to two million shareholders, US$2.5 trillion dollars in assets, 35,000 companies onboarded and regularly making acquisitions and investments into similar ownership products in strategic markets across the world.
“Since the Carta strategy team joined our cap table, we’ve been working really closely with them to understand how to bring the best customer experiences to African tech. We’ve been learning everything we can, from podcasts and mentorship from growth, content, sales, finance, and engineering teams all the way from C-Suite to management-level teams at Carta. Carta is the best at what we do, and we figured we could learn how to apply those learnings to build Africa’s largest ownership platform,” Coleby said.
“We’re still figuring out what product-market fit will look like in African tech. With the Carta team, we’ve explored a bunch of different angles, and we’ll probably share some polls on Twitter so that you can tell us what we should build.”
In the meantime, Raise customers should soon expect liquidity products and experiments with African currency settlements; syncing with syndicate platforms across the ecosystem to invest directly into equity structures and cap tables; integrated market data from the tech ecosystem; and a relaunch of its electronic shares product.
Raise also plans to leverage Carta’s API and the open cap table standard it is building to provide world-class ownership, equity, and security experiences for customers.
Existing Carta customers and shareholders are able to sync their holdings directly to Raise, and run health checks against African law and macroeconomic trends.
How the platform works
Through the platform, a founder whose company is currently raising funds sets up their company’s profile with all relevant due diligence information.
After setting up a private virtual deal room, they send an investment invitation to prospective investors with whom they are already in active talks.
The investor receives an email notification, logs in, and is taken to the company’s dashboard. Both parties are able to simulate the fundraising procedure in the deal room with the possibility of issuing electronic share certificates after agreements are reached.
Founders can send such invitations to multiple investors and will see how each investor interacts with the information on their profile. For each potential investment amount in play, the Raise platform generates the equity implications for the parties.
In 2019, Raise received funding from Binance as one of 13 startups to join Binance Labs (the crypto platform’s venture arm).
Notable partners and customers include Helium Health, which recently raised a US$10 million Series A round, and venture capital firms Microtraction and Chrysalis Capital, Nigerian fintech Wallets.africa , Ajua and Kenyan leading law firm Anjarwhalla and Khanna.