Maholla Raises $1.5M in Seed Funding For Consumer Rewards App

In order to continue developing the largest retail-agnostic rewards and data platform in South Africa, Maholla, a consumer rewards app, has just raised $1.5 million in seed funding. Funding for the business now exceeds $2 million, following a pre-seed round of $580,000 in July 2022.

Seed investors include the Buffet Group, Castleton Capital, Praesidium Capital Management, and Galloprovincialis, whose board members and investors in South African fast-moving consumer goods companies include Mark Bowman, a former managing director of SABMiller.

The Maholla app offers incentives for users to scan receipts from any store, regardless of where they shopped. Instant airtime, 1Vouchers, in-app games, and more can be earned, and there are even more opportunities to earn rewards by shopping for preferred brands. For a more nuanced picture of consumer behavior across the country, the company connects all retail-neutral shopping data from scanned receipts directly to the consumer.

Maholla’s retail-agnostic approach and painless rewards process have led to rapid app growth and one of the highest retention rates in the business.

“Our company is on route to tracking as many purchases as a top 5 retailer in South Africa,” said Jed da Silva, co-founder and head of product at Maholla.

Maholla collaborates with fast food chains, restaurants, and market research firms in South Africa to give them a detailed, real-time look at what consumers are buying.

The firm tracks what its partners buy to offer targeted incentives for continued patronage.

Maholla’s superior dataset and targeting capabilities have helped many brands, including Maggi, Milo, Ricoffy, Nola, Rama, Hungry Lion, Fusion, Switch Energy, and Mr. Sheen.

Executive Director of Digital Marketing at RCL Foods David Pugh said,

 “We are excited by Maholla’s capabilities: delivering first-party shopping data and influencing purchasing decisions in real-time.”

Its download size of around 12MB makes Maholla’s app competitive for highly competitive storage space on a South African user’s device, and it works on all entry-level smartphones. Thanks to its excellent image compression features, users can upload a receipt with almost no impact on their monthly data plan.

With shopping being a daily activity and the rapid growth of smartphone penetration in South Africa, Maholla plans to continue developing a product that helps tens of millions of shoppers get more out of their purchases. Lower-income families will appreciate this greatly as they try to keep up with the country’s steadily rising food prices.

Maholla’s year-over-year data on basket sizes confirmed a 23.7% decline in consumer basket sizes between February 2022 and February 2023, which uncovered this trend.

With the Maholla app, users can earn points by scanning receipts from any store. It’s helping us get a more nuanced picture of shoppers’ habits by connecting previously unrelated pieces of shopping data. The information is then used to provide real-time, attributed rewards for the company’s CPG partners, with the goal of fostering brand loyalty and shopper influence.

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