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Congolese call centre First & Future secures backing from XSML

20 Feb 2012

First & Future (F&F), the Democratic Republic of Congo’s first independent call centre, has secured financial backing from Amsterdam-based emerging markets investor XSML’s Central Africa SME Fund (CASF).

The call centre market is a nascent industry in the DRC. F&F manages both on-site as well as their own off-site call centre to service the growing need for customer service in the country.

As all other existing call centres are in-house and captive, F&F is the first to offer this service to all companies in DRC. The funding will be used for a new, state-of-the-art independent call centre managed by F&F.

As a first step F&F will set up their own 30 seat call centre with the aim to expand to 200 seat capacity. With the investment F&F will purchase the latest available call centre software and hardware that will enable them to offer call centre services to the best international standard.

In addition F&F will start offering a general information service, ALLO KIN, comparable to a Yellow Pages service that will enable the population of Kinshasa to find information on services and goods quicker and at a lower cost. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Marcel Posthuma, a managing partner at XSML, said, “Our investment in First & Future will bring customer service to a new level on par with international standards. We see a trend that more and more companies want to connect to their customer base in a more efficient way.

“Why would you have to wait in line at a branch while your answer can be handled by one simple phone call that lasts only seconds? Clients deserve a better service and with this investment they will get one”.

CASF invests in SMEs in the DRC and the Central African Republic. The fund aims to achieve sustainable economic development by encouraging entrepreneurship in the fast-growing markets of DRC and CAR.

The $25m fund has an 80 per cent allocation to DRC and 20 per cent to CAR. The vehicle provides risk capital with an investment size ranging from $100,000 to $500,000.

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