Itana raises $2mn pre-seed to build Africa’s first digital free zone

Barely a week after a Nigerian startup, Anchor, raised $2.4 million in a seed round, another fast-growing Nigerian fintech – Itana, formerly known as Talent City, has raised $2 million in a pre-seed that will support its current drive towards building Africa’s first digital free zone in the country.

Information from the fintech owners indicated that the pre-seed round was led by global venture capitalists LocalGlobe, Amplo, Pronomos Capital, and Future Africa all of which have garnered deep industry expertise and technical know-how from partners that have backed model digital societies such as e-Estonia and are building products that scale.

The fintech, which was founded by CEO Luqman Edu, Iyinoluwa Aboyeji, and Coco Liu plans to enable global tech and service companies to situate their African operations from Nigeria, and also take advantage of globally competitive business policies and incentives.

Commenting on the successful fundraising initiative, Itana’s co-founder and CEO, Edu, enthused:“Weare thrilled to announce this round of funding. It validates our efforts and reiterates the aligned vision with our investors and partners to make it easy to invest and operate in Africa’s digital economy.

“The African market is still largely untapped and Itana will provide the ideal business environment that will be fully online, for global and pan-African digital and service companies to use Nigeria as an anchorage to operate with ease across the continent”, he added.

Also commenting on the deal, the firm’s co-founder, Iyinoluwa Aboyeji said that Itana would enable entrepreneurs to build a globally respected business in Nigeria’s first digital free zone by leveraging benefits now only beign enjoyed by traditional manufacturing or oil and gas industries.

He explained: “Within the Itana digital free zone startups will have the benefit of a stable policy environment, tax and capital repatriation incentives, and the freedom to operate remotely without the need for an expansive physical presence within the free zone. I’m looking forward to the global businesses from Nigeria that will emerge from this.”

According to the fintech’s owners, Itana is building the first Digital Free Zone in Nigeria where global technology-powered companies such as tech startups, business service providers, e-commerce companies, outsourcing firms and digital content providers, among others, can operate and provide services remotely without the need to be physically present in the country.

They stated that the firm’s free zone would be powered by a one-stop-shop platform for business and government services, including taxation, business visas, banking, capital repatriation, and supportive legislation for businesses.

Based on its operational schedule, the fintech startup plans to go live in the first quarter of next year in Nigeria but will flag off its pilot scheme within the next few weeks with a few select businesses, which will access Itana District, a 72,000 square meter “live-work-build” space.

Techrectory, Business.

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