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Africa 118, a digital marketing and information service provider headquartered in Ethiopia, has secured funding from the GSMA Innovation Fund for the third time.

This latest grant will be used to expand Africa 118’s gig work marketplace, Taskmoby, from the capital Addis Ababa to three additional cities: Adama, Hawassa, and Dire Dawa, according to Ezana Raswork, Founding CEO of Africa 118. These cities have a collective population of over 1.5 million people. 

The 2024 GSMA Innovation Fund for Accelerated Growth was launched to provide grants and technical assistance to GSMA Innovation Fund alumni. Its purpose is to help innovative organizations scale, reach a wider user base, and enhance the sustainability of their solutions.

Akofada (DFS Ethiopia)

“The current funding serves as a follow-on, accelerating our expansion into new markets,” Ezana told Shega.

The expansion aims to create 1,000 jobs in these three cities by the end of 2024 and an additional 10,000 jobs over the next three years. Africa 118 will also introduce two new product features: “Taskcenter,” which will enable service providers to access working tools and supplies, and “Taskcredit,” which will offer access to credit based on the service provider’s credit history. These features will provide more value to workers and increase service adoption.

According to Ezana, since its establishment, Taskmoby has served over 40,000 users and created 4,000 jobs.

Taskmoby initially started as a B2C job-matching platform connecting service providers with users. However, 18 months ago, it transitioned to a B2B model, partnering primarily with businesses in the construction sector, such as Gift Real Estate. This shift was made because the previous B2C model proved unsustainable, according to Ezana.

“In the past year and a half, we’ve shifted our focus to partnering with businesses (B2B) in the construction sector. This allows us to provide higher-quality, sustainable jobs for service providers,” he confirmed.

Taskmoby previously secured funding from GSMA on two occasions in the past five years. The current GSMA Innovation Fund selected seven startups along with Africa 118, allocating a total grant amount of 700,000 euros.

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Etenat holds a degree in Journalism and her master's in Public Relations. Previously, she served as a university lecturer and has five years of experience in communications, media, digital marketing, and consulting.