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We’ve known for a while now that Transsion was set to go public in a Chinese IPO. The dominating smartphone brand in Africa has finally listed on the Shanghai STAR Market, raising nearly USD 400 Mn.
The Shenzhen-headquartered phone maker revealed in a Wednesday stock filing that it had sold 80 million shares for USD 4.93 each, raising USD 395 Mn.
The sale on the hot new tech-focused market bumps up the company’s valuation to USD 3.95 Bn. This achievement makes Transsion one of the biggest attractions on the Shanghai Stock Exchange’s new Nasdaq-style board for tech stocks.
The firm plans to spend about USD 227 Mn of the raise in building more phone assembly hubs. Transsion will also spend USD 62 Mn researching and developing, under which a mobile phone R&D center in Shanghai will pan out.
The company already has R&D centers in Nigeria and Kenya. Its African sales network comprises retail shops in the same countries as well as Tanzania, Ethiopia, and Egypt.
Transsion, the first-known company to optimize its camera phones for African complexions, also has venture funding in Africa. In August, its funded Future Hub joined forces with Kenya’s Wapi Capital to source and fund African fintech startups.
Despite being based in Shenzhen, Transsion does not do business in China. Nonetheless, it wields a significant portion of the African smartphone market.
According to CNN, the IPO is on its way to becoming the Star Market’s second-largest. The initiative, an offshoot from the Shanghai stock market, was launched in July to enable China to achieve a tech power status. The market, however, was unveiled less than a year ago by President Xi Jinping.
Transsions’ road so far – and its IPO of course – mirrors the influence the Chinese have in the continent’s digital scene. Save the country’s recent USD 30 Bn investment expansion in the continent; Opera’s is doing a mega venture spending in Nigeria.
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