Cape Town-based Qwili, a startup that makes digital products and services accessible to digitally excluded and unbanked consumers, has raised $1.2 million in seed funding.

  • The company plans to use the funding to scale up its low-cost NFC-enabled smartphone Qwili Pula which allows merchants to send and receive payments.
  • Qwili's app, which comes pre-installed on all Qwili’s phones offers Point-of-Sale features, allowing merchants to use it to sell value-added services like data and pay-TV subscriptions.
  • The round, led by South African venture capital firm E4E Africa and participation from Strat-Tech, Next Chymia, Untapped Global and Codec Ventures, and others, comes after a year after the startup closed an undisclosed pre-seed round.