The $2 million pre-seed funding secured by Nigerian company Itana, formerly known as Talent City, will help it realise its vision of creating Africa’s first digital free zone.
LocalGlobe, Amplo, Pronomos Capital, and Future Africa were the leading international venture capital firms in the pre-seed round. The agreement brings together a stronghold of technical know-how and deep industrial expertise from partners who have funded model digital societies like e-Estonia and are developing scalable products.
Itana, a company founded by CEO Luqman Edu, Iyinoluwa Aboyeji, and Coco Liu, aims to make it possible for multinational tech and service providers to base their African operations in Nigeria while simultaneously benefiting from internationally competitive business incentives and legislation.
Commenting on the fundraising, Itana’s co-founder and CEO, Edu, said: “We are 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.”
Co-founder Aboyeji said Itana would give entrepreneurs the opportunity to establish a well-known company in the world’s first digital free zone in Nigeria by utilising advantages currently only enjoyed by traditional manufacturing or oil and gas industries, which have historically established in Nigeria’s free zones.
“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,” he said.
The first Digital Free Zone is being created in Nigeria, according to Itana, where businesses powered by global technology can operate and offer services remotely without having to be physically present in Nigeria. These businesses include tech startups, business service providers, e-commerce businesses, outsourcing firms, digital content providers, and so on.