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Let’s work together: Mobile operators and digital startups in Africa

By Nicolas Friederici on December 22, 2014

Tigo runs the Think incubator in Kigali, Millicom Group and MTN chip in with Rocket Internet’s fund, and Safaricom sets up a fund of its own. Yet, African startup communities are already asking for more, writes Nicolas Friederici.

We all know that early monetization and revenue generation are crucial for digital startups in Africa. Entrepreneurs in pretty much any African city find it impossible to obtain significant scaling capital before they show revenue, as angel investors (if they exist at all) are wary of putting money into tech companies that can only show traction as users, but not as cash flow.

African digital startups — those ventures with a business model that hinges on web or mobile software, content, and applications — almost always rely on mobile [...] Continue reading Let’s work together: Mobile operators and digital startups in Africa »


VC4Africa 2015 Report: Venture Finance in Africa – progress in Africa’s startup space

By Thomas van Halen on December 17, 2014

New research by startup funding platform VC4Africa shows considerable progress made by early-stage growth companies across Africa.

Leave your details and download a summary of the VC4Africa 2015 Report: Venture Finance in Africa. Or register your VC4Africa Pro Account and receive the full version.

The VC4Africa 2015 Venture Finance in Africa report shows an increasing number of African businesses successfully growing their operations over time. They generate an increasing amount of revenue and add new jobs to the African market place.

VC4Africa aims to be the world’s leading social network for entrepreneurs and investors in Africa. The VC4Africa community has over 17,000 members in 159 countries, including 600 investors. 2000 entrepreneurs in Africa present their [...] Continue reading VC4Africa 2015 Report: Venture Finance in Africa – progress in Africa’s startup space »


Tech hub sustainability in Africa: a complex challenge that requires a systemic solution

By Tayo Akinyemi on December 8, 2014

Across Africa up to 200 young tech hub organizations exist, important but without a clear path to long-term survival, writes Tayo Akinyemi, Director of Africa’s tech hub network AfriLabs. What’s the solution to this thorny problem?

In an odd way, hub sustainability is an existential problem. There is a proliferation of African hubs, at least 100, maybe up to 200, depending on who’s counting and how. These entities have a variety of names (tech hub, innovation hub, lab, coworking space), service models (community building, pre-incubation, incubation, acceleration, nexus) and arguably, reasons for being. Most want to create or support tech communities, incubate start-ups, bolster skills, and enhance technical literacy, although the exact formula varies per hub.

However, despite (or perhaps because of), this staggering amount of [...] Continue reading Tech hub sustainability in Africa: a complex challenge that requires a systemic solution »


Avatar of Jenni Lansisyrja

8 upcoming startups from Kenya

By Jenni Lansisyrja on December 4, 2014

Below we feature 8 top startups from Kenya, all fundraising on VC4Africa!

Click on the venture profiles below for more info, read the documentation and connect with the entrepreneurs. Only accredited investors who registered a VC4Africa Pro Account can access the company’s private documents, business plans, financial projections and all other details from the listed ventures’ VC4Africa profiles. (Login with an existing Pro Account here, or get more info.)

 Venture  Funding ASiM is a Sales and stock management solution connecting warehouses, sales agents, customers & more. Read more on their VC4Africa venture profile. Funding required: USD 250,000  M-Changa is an automated online fundraising platform accepting both mobile money and credit card donations. Read more [...] Continue reading 8 upcoming startups from Kenya »

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VC4Africa introduces integrated QuickScan for investors

By Bill Zimmerman on December 2, 2014

The team at VC4Africa has been busy and we’re pleased to introduce the new integrated QuickScan — a fast and easy way to show investors where you are in building your business.

There are no right or wrong answers. Some investors back early stage companies while others focus on growth stage. This is a tool that improves your chances of meeting the right investors.

Too often entrepreneurs only give themselves a few months to secure funding, when in reality it can take a year or sometimes even longer to find the right investors for your company. The best way to make sure you don’t find yourself in a tight squeeze is to always be fundraising. Grow your network of contacts now. Build your visibility and [...] Continue reading VC4Africa introduces integrated QuickScan for investors »


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DEMO Africa alumni ChopUp – Nigeria’s social gaming platform – secured USD 100K from investors

By Miguel Heilbron on November 30, 2014

Congratulations to the ChopUp team! We had a chance to catch up with Chopup co-founder Bayo Puddicombe (DEMO Africa alumnus & VC4Africa member) after the company closed their Series A investment round from a group of local and international angel investors. “Over the next five years, we want to be one of the top five mobile game development companies by revenue operating in Africa.”

“Africa my Africa, Africa of proud warriors in ancestral savannahs…” – starting their DEMO Africa 2013 pitch with the first lines from a famous poem by David Diop and unfolding their company’s success story convincingly and with humor, the ChopUp founders left a great impression on the DEMO Africa audience last year.

Before starting Chopup the co-founders Bayo Puddicombe & Zubair Abubakar [...] Continue reading DEMO Africa alumni ChopUp – Nigeria’s social gaming platform – secured USD 100K from investors »


Avatar of Jenni Lansisyrja

4 DEMO Africa 2014 alumni present at DEMO Fall in Silicon Valley

By Jenni Lansisyrja on November 27, 2014

Congratulations to the 4 startups who travelled to Silicon Valley and pitched at DEMO Fall last week during Global Entrepreneurship Week!

The selected four - Chura, Nerve, PaySail, and SpacePointe - were chosen among this year’s 40 DEMO Africa entrepreneurs and presented to an international audience evaluating their potential. See some photos below. Good luck to the new generation of DEMO Africa entrepreneurs next year, we hope these stories inspire more tech innovators in Africa and will keep you posted on updates! Investors with a VC4Africa Pro Account can get full access to details of these and other ventures on VC4Africa.

Byron Sitawa demonstrated DEMO Africa alumni Chura. See their VC4Africa venture profile to find out more!

Continue reading 4 DEMO Africa 2014 alumni present at DEMO Fall in Silicon Valley »


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Tanzania’s green innovator Karibu Solar Power secures investments via VC4Africa!

By Miguel Heilbron on November 25, 2014

Congrats to the team of Karibu Solar Power! Last week we profiled one of the investors who found the company through VC4Africa and invested a “five digit sum”. This week we catch up with the company’s Executive Director Adam Camenzuli.

Inspired by this green success story? Applications for Africa’s Green Pioneer Accelerator close December 1st.

KARIBU Solar Power is based in Tanzania and makes lighting & electricity affordable by offering a solar pay-as-you-go “business in a box” kit to entrepreneurs. KARIBU’s business model allows consumers to enjoy the benefits of solar lighting, while paying in small increments, just like they would for kerosene. For more background see an earlier interview and for an update see below.

What was it like to be contacted by investors through the VC4Africa platform, and [...] Continue reading Tanzania’s green innovator Karibu Solar Power secures investments via VC4Africa! »


Avatar of Jenni Lansisyrja

Last chance to apply for Africa’s first Green Pioneer Accelerator! (Deadline Dec 1st)

By Jenni Lansisyrja on November 24, 2014

The application window for Africa’s Green Pioneer Accelerator approaches its deadline, December 1st - Don’t miss your chance to join Africa’s best green startups!

The Green Pioneer Accelerator is specifically designed for entrepreneurs working on innovative products in rapidly expanding environmental sectors such as sustainable agriculture (including apiculture and aquaculture), ecotourism, sustainable forestry, non-timber forest products, and renewable energy. An equal emphasis is given to opportunities in food waste, ecological housing, recycling or other green innovations. Applicants should benefit local communities who are an integral part of protecting the earth’s natural capital.

Impact Amplifier, Growth Africa, VC4Africa and Hivos offer a comprehensive program that takes businesses from ‘market proof’ to ‘ready for investment’. The program, running both in Kenya and South Africa offers a rare [...] Continue reading Last chance to apply for Africa’s first Green Pioneer Accelerator! (Deadline Dec 1st) »


Avatar of Nathalie Gonçalves Aurélio

Global celebration of African entrepreneurship: over 40 meetups, 2500 people mobilized!

By Nathalie Gonçalves Aurélio on November 21, 2014

This Thursday, November 20, VC4Africa members and supporters came together in over 40 cities in Africa, Europe, the US and Asia – to talk Africa, innovation and investment. See some impressions below and add your own in the comments! 

We connected with fellow entrepreneurs, investors and supporters as a part of Global Entrepreneurship Week 2014 and were able to mobilize over 2,500 people! A big thank you to all hosts who volunteered to organize the meetups in their cities!

VC4Africa members and supporters came together in over 40 cities around the world, including Abidjan, Abuja, Accra, Addis Ababa, Amsterdam, Antananarivo, Bamako, Benoni, Berlin, Birmingham, Blantyre, Brussels, Buea, Bujumbura, Bukavu, Cairo, Calabar, Cotonou, Dar es Salaam, Douala, Frankfurt, Giza, Harare, Ilorin, Johannesburg, Kampala, Kigali, Lagos, London, Los [...] Continue reading Global celebration of African entrepreneurship: over 40 meetups, 2500 people mobilized! »