Home » Berlin-based startup led by Nigerian entrepreneur secures $2.74 million from investors

Berlin-based startup led by Nigerian entrepreneur secures $2.74 million from investors

by Feyisayo Ajayi
Sunkanmi Ola

Propel, a Berlin-based HR tech startup led by Nigerian entrepreneur Sunkanmi Ola, has successfully raised €2.5 million ($2.74 million) in its latest seed funding round.

The funds were secured from prominent investors, including Amsterdam-based No Such Ventures, APX (Axel Springer & Porsche), Golden Egg Check, and Future of Learning Fund.

The €2.74-million seed funding will be pivotal in driving the rollout and adoption of Propel’s platform. The company aims to generate €1 million ($1.1 million) in revenue by the fourth quarter of 2023. This financial boost will enable Propel to expand its reach and enhance its service offerings on its community-as-a-service platform.

With a presence in Lagos and Berlin, Propel seeks to establish sustainable talent pipelines for communities worldwide while assisting global companies in mitigating the risks associated with hiring remote talent from emerging markets, particularly in Africa.

Sophie Heijenberg, an investor at No Such Ventures, expressed her enthusiasm for Propel’s unique approach to driving the open talent economy. She stated: “Propel’s community-focused strategy sets them apart and is a valuable addition to the Future of Work category. We are optimistic about their future plans and thrilled to partner with them on this journey of growth.”

Mariama Boumanjal, Google for Startups Black Founders Fund manager for Europe and Africa, emphasized the importance of inclusivity in technology and commended Propel’s approach to addressing the global skills shortage.

Boumanjal remarked: “Propel’s inclusive approach to tackling the global skills shortage problem is inspiring. We are proud to have supported them through our program and are excited about their future endeavors.”

Founded two years ago by Nigerian entrepreneurs Ola, Seun Owolabi, and Abel Agoi, Propel develops tools that assist tech talent communities in solving their last-mile challenges.

These tools facilitate connecting community members to job opportunities, financial services such as loans and asset financing, and various perks and benefits. Currently, Propel collaborates with over 100 tech communities across 15 countries, serving approximately 400,000 members.

Ola, co-founder and CEO of Propel, underscored the vital role that communities play in any ecosystem, particularly tech communities in high-growth markets and underrepresented groups.

Ola highlighted these communities’ impact on education, capacity building, and inclusion.

He stated: “By giving communities access to a plug-in platform that solves their last mile, Propel helps them focus on what they know how to do best. With communities growing and establishing deeper connections on a local level, Propel aims to tangibly influence the growth of millions of people on an unprecedented scale.”

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