Itana Raises $2m pre-Seed Funding to Establish Africa’s First Digital Free Zone


A Nigerian firm is making waves with its ground-breaking project in an effort to establish a welcoming and digitally-driven business climate in Nigeria, establishing the nation as a hub for the continent’s expanding digital and service industries.

Notably, Nigeria is well-known for its privately and publicly run free zones that have attracted manufacturing, oil, and gas enterprises in the past and helped these ventures succeed.

Itana, a Nigerian corporation formerly known as Talent City, is trying to create Africa’s first digital free zone specifically for companies in the digital and service industries because of this. The objective is to provide the digital and service sectors with the same advantages as conventional industries, such as foreign direct investment (FDI).

Itana has received $2 million in pre-seed capital to support its mission from a number of investors, including Future Africa, LocalGlobe, Amplo, and Pronomos Capital.

Itana, founded by CEO Luqman Edu, COO Coco Liu, and founding investor and co-founder of Flutterwave Iyinoluwa Aboyeji, aims to offer a completely online business environment, enabling international and pan-African technology and service companies to use Nigeria as a hub for operations across the continent.

Itana is aiming to deliver a comprehensive online platform dubbed Itana Edge in the initial stage of the project through strategic relationships with the Nigerian government.

This platform will give international businesses access to a variety of incentives—ranging from favorable taxation and business visas to banking services, capital repatriation, and supportive legislative frameworks—much like globally renowned tech solutions like Stripe Atlas in the U.S. and e-Estonia in Europe.

Surprisingly, thanks to this initiative, multinational IT and service providers would be able to base their African operations in Nigeria and benefit from the country’s favorable economic regulations and incentives without having to set up shop in a Nigerian-free zone.

Itana will begin its trial program with a few select organizations in Nigeria in the next weeks, with plans to go live in the first quarter of 2024, as part of its ambitious goal to become Africa’s Silicon Valley.

These firms will have access to the upcoming Itana District, a 72,000 square meter “live-work-build” complex that is now under construction. Its construction is meant to house both long-term residents and guests for co-working and co-living events in the digital community. This campus’ initial phase will be finished by 2027.

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