The launchpad for emerging technology and trends

22-26 September 2014, Lagos

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EXCLUSIVE: Africa’s payment venture SimplePay secures SeedStars World’s Best Startup prize money!

By Miguel Heilbron on September 15, 2014

While an Asian startup was announced as the winner of the Seedstars 2014 “Best startup in the world” competition, in the end an African startup secured the prize money! Congrats to VC4Africa member Simeon Ononobi, CEO of SimplePay! He shares his story below. 

Congratulations on the funding you secured! What did you win?

“SeedStars World’s first prize is up to 500,000 USD in seed investments from European investors, managed by SeedStars. Because we didn’t need up to that for seed funding we negotiated for just 300,000 Swizz Francs, around 330,000 USD.”

What happened exactly?

“After a grueling deliberation by the jury members at the SeedStars World finale, actually Flitto from South Korea was announced the winner – and we got second place. But then it became clear [...]

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DEMO Africa alumni company Fairwaves joins prestigious Techstars accelerator, shoots up ‘mobile network in a box’

By Miguel Heilbron on September 8, 2014

Today’s featured member of the VC4Africa community is entrepreneur Alexander Chemeris, CEO and Founder of the company Fairwaves, one of the great 40 startups launched at DEMO Africa last year.

Fairwaves’ innovation is making mobile communications affordable in rural and remote areas with a ‘network in a box’. They just raised new investments and got accepted at the prestigious Techstars accelerator in Boston, US!

Congratulations on the new milestones! What have you raised so far, and what are you still looking for?

“So far, we raised USD 240,000 from nine business angels in the previous round. We are currently raising another USD 400,000 as a bridge round. This includes taking USD100,000 from Techstars’ Star Power Fund and raising another USD 300,000 from angels on the [...]

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Ghana’s messaging startup Saya acquired by US based mobile services company Kirusa

By Miguel Heilbron on August 21, 2014

Congratulations to VC4Africa member Saya, acquired by US based mobile services company Kirusa!

Do you have an investment success story to share with the whole VC4Africa community too? Let us know!

“In launching Saya, we wanted to create a world class product that was made by Africans, for Africans,” says Saya’s CEO Robert Lamptey.

Robert Lamptey and Badu Boahen are the two Ghanaian entrepreneurs who founded Saya in 2011. They are both graduates of the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) program in Accra. Saya provides a chat application that cuts the costs of SMS and also gives low-end phones users access to functionalities such as Facebook chat, group discussions, location-based chat, and exchange of multi-media. Today their apps are used in over 35 countries worldwide. Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, India, and [...]

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South Africa’s 8Bit raises USD 110K from local & international angel investors

By Miguel Heilbron on August 11, 2014

Congratulations to VC4Africa member 8Bit and the investors (also including a VC4Africa member) with whom they secured a new round of investment deals!

Also have an investment success story to share with the whole VC4Africa community? Let us know!

Tom Kennedy, founder and CEO of South Africa based advertising platform 8Bit, announced the company closed a round of USD 110,000, consisting of deals with multiple South African and international investors.

The company went through 88mph’s Cape Town accelerator program and raised funding from them earlier this year. Also VC4Africa member Ernst Hertzog of early stage angel fund Action Hero Ventures and Neil Emmerick of hotel booking platform Nightsbridge, both based in South Africa, committed investments.

After additional investments secured at a Net Prophet [...]

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Kenya’s BookNow secures USD 75k funding round from 10 angel investors

By Miguel Heilbron on August 5, 2014

Congratulations to VC4Africa member BookNow! They secured USD 75k in funding from 10 angel investors (some of which are in the VC4Africa community as well).

Also have an investment success story to share with the whole VC4Africa community? Let us know!

Nairobi-based bus ticket aggregator BookNow has closed a USD 75k round from 10 angels investors including local businessmen Mahendra K.D. Shah, Ravi Shah, Ritesh Doshi and four investors from their incubator 88mph. The company will use the funds to accelerate growth within the Kenyan market, by improving its product offering, and hiring customer support staff.

BookNow originally received seed funding from and was part of 88mph’s 2013 Nairobi accelerator program. The company was founded by Francis Gesora and Michael Nguru in August 2013 and aggregates bus tickets [...]

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Nomanini gets USD 450k funding boost from South Africa’s tech venture capital fund IDC

By Miguel Heilbron on August 4, 2014

Congratulations to VC4Africa member Nomanini! After they secured their series A round in 2012 and series B round earlier this year they announced a new funding boost today.

Also have an investment success story to share with the whole VC4Africa community? Let us know!

VC4Africa member and emerging markets payments innovator Nomanini today received additional funding from South Africa’s tech venture capital fund Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) to enable its expansion into international markets. Nomanini has been granted ZAR 4.8 million (USD 450.000) which will enable it to scale operations internationally, streamline its fulfilment process and recruit the talent needed to keep up with its growth.

Nomanini is a South African-based technology solutions provider dedicated to building the tools needed to facilitate cash payments [...]

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Africa’s new remittance tool Remit raises capital to expand

By Miguel Heilbron on July 11, 2014

Today’s featured member of the VC4Africa community is entrepreneur Stone Atwine, CEO and co-founder of Remit Uganda, a new remittance tool raising capital to expand.

What’s the essence of your business and why are you interesting for investors?

“Remit is a platform that enables people from all over the world to transfer money to the mobile wallets of their relatives, friends and associates in Africa. We are faster, more convenient and more affordable than other platforms.

We are helping to bring down the cost of sending money home to Africa from abroad and we bring new levels of convenience to both senders and recipients of money transfers. We have a minimum viable product that is live and operational. We’ve moved tens of thousands of US dollars already and are generating [...]

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Backing Nigeria’s “Nerve” smartphone producer: ‘a smart move for investors’

By Miguel Heilbron on July 4, 2014

Today’s featured member of the VC4Africa community is entrepreneur Silas Okwoche, founder of Nigeria based company Nerve, producing “high relevance smartphones that are built for the mobile first generation of Africa”. They are currently raising a USD 500,000 investment round.

Who are the investors presently backing you, what is already secured and what’s still needed? 

“We are currently backed by a couple of angel investors, one of which is a Nigerian in the Diaspora and another a high net worth individual resident in country. In addition to our team’s personal funds we have secured just over USD 60k in angel investment from our previous round that is being disbursed on a milestone basis. [...]

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Lagos Angel Network makes its first investment in Autobox and Hutbay

By Bankole Oluwafemi on July 2, 2014

This article by Bankole Oluwafemi originally appeared on TechCabal, a VC4Africa publishing partner.

Congratulations to VC4Africa members Autobox and Hutbay for being the first startups to secure investment from the Lagos Angel Investors.

What is a notable first for the group of Nigerian investors, the Lagos Angel Network is getting behind two startups in a commitment that will see it invest cash and time in two early stage internet startups, Autobox and Hutbay.

Autobox sells car spare parts online and was the 2nd runner up of the TechCabal Battlefield competition in February. Hutbay is an online real estate marketplace based in Lagos. Both startups are established in what we are adamantly referring to as the Yabacon Valley, from the Co-Creation and [...]

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Kenya’s iProcure raises capital from Invested Development to improve farming services

By Sam Wakoba on June 30, 2014


This article by Sam Wakoba originally appeared on TechMoran and is published with permission.

Congratulations to VC4Africa member Stefano Carcoforo, co-founder of Kenyan company iProcure! Early stage impact fund Invested Development has invested an undisclosed amount into the mobile and web technology platform that provides software to enhance sales and inventory management in rural and peri-urban agriculture markets.

The funding will help iProcure to improve farmers retail operations by improving their inventories, orders, point of sale activities, and client profiles along with geo-located purchasing patterns, real-time agent performance and transaction analysis, and built-in mobile payments. The service aims at helping retailers better predict demand with business intelligence data, improve inventory management, and streamline distribution efficiency.

Founded in 2012 by Stefano Carcoforo and Nicole Galletta, the platform aims [...]

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