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Helping you invest in Africa’s top startups, deal sourcing to deal closing with VC4Africa

By Thomas van Halen on February 4, 2016

VC4Africa is a platform for African venture finance. We now have 27,500 members from 159 countries and connect thousands of promising startups from across the continent. Connect to Africa’s top founders by joining the mentorship program or explore promising investment opportunities with the VC4Africa Pro Account.

VC4Africa’s monthly subscription service gives you exclusive access to business ventures raising capital, allows you to set up tailored alerts that match your specific investment criteria, and allows you to review venture documents online. With a Pro Account you are able to quickly identify companies you like and cut down on your due diligence costs. In the end, VC4Africa saves you time. Register a VC4A Pro Account today and tap into Africa’s largest community of entrepreneurs.

What [...] Continue reading Helping you invest in Africa’s top startups, deal sourcing to deal closing with VC4Africa »


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Is 2016 the year you raise capital for your venture? 7 tips and tricks for your fundraising campaign

By Ben White on January 7, 2016

Do you require capital to grow your business? If you are working on a scalable business, and think investors should consider backing your venture, VC4Africa is the place for you.

See for example the companies that raised more than USD 27 million. Our advice? Don’t wait and start early. Fundraising takes time. Much more time than most entrepreneurs might expect. Get ahead of the curve by building a network of trusted business contacts today. Create visibility for your company with a venture profile on VC4Africa and document the progress you are making as a team. In this way you allow prospective partners to follow your journey, to see how you are progressing over time, and so they can engage your company when the time is [...] Continue reading Is 2016 the year you raise capital for your venture? 7 tips and tricks for your fundraising campaign »


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AzarGen Biotechnologies closes $3.1 million in Series B funding

By Ben White on January 7, 2016

Starting 2016 with a bang, VC4A listed venture AzarGen Biotechnologies closes $3.1 million in Series B funding. We had a chance to speak with Dr. Mauritz Venter to learn more about their progress and plans for the future.

Can you highlight the origins of the company and its inspiration?

“AzarGen was started by four aspiring life science entrepreneurs with a diverse set of skills, interests and passions as post-graduate students at Stellenbosch University’s Institute for Plant Biotechnology. Throughout our years at university the team had a keen interest in the business aspects of science and in the beginning of 2003 decided to take up the challenge of starting up a new biotechnology company, which we called AzarGen Biotechnologies (www.azargen.com). After attracting funding from a private [...] Continue reading AzarGen Biotechnologies closes $3.1 million in Series B funding »


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Fostering a culture of inclusive business in 2016, promoting entrepreneurship for the Base of the Pyramid

By Ben White on January 5, 2016

There is much talk about entrepreneurship as a driver for economic growth and social progress, but to what extent does this new generation of businesses coming up positively impact low income communities? Where are we with fostering a culture of inclusive business and supporting the otherwise high impact entrepreneurship meaningful for the Base of the Pyramid (BoP)?

An inclusive business is a sustainable business that benefits low-income communities. It is a business initiative that, keeping its for-profit nature, also contributes to poverty reduction through the inclusion of low income communities across its value chain. This means not only selling products and services to low income communities, but also incorporating them into the sourcing, production and delivery of services wherever possible. Fostering a culture of inclusive business is critical to achieving [...] Continue reading Fostering a culture of inclusive business in 2016, promoting entrepreneurship for the Base of the Pyramid »


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Investing in Kenya’s mobile disruptors, meet the Safaricom Spark Venture Fund

By Ben White on December 22, 2015

Safaricom in November 2014 launched a venture fund that invest in late seed to early growth stage support start-ups that use mobile technology as an enabler. We recently had a chance to catch up with Eline Blaauboer and her team managing this fund to find out more about their approach and first investment in Sendy Limited.

The Safaricom Venture Spark Fund is a venture capital fund that aims to support the successful development and growth of high potential mobile tech start-ups in Kenya through a combination of investment, business development support and technical assistance leveraging on Safaricom’s unique capabilities, assets and market positioning.

How does it work?

The Total fund size is USD 1 Million (~KSH 90 Million) where the team seeks a minority equity [...] Continue reading Investing in Kenya’s mobile disruptors, meet the Safaricom Spark Venture Fund »


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On-demand package delivery, Sendy closes deal with Safaricom Spark Venture Fund

By Ben White on December 22, 2015

The Safaricom’s USD 1 million Spark Venture Fund launched with great expectations, entrepreneurs eager to read about their first investments to be made by this corporate fund. Sendy Limited has become the first recipient to receive their investment and presents an interesting case study for more to come.

Sendy offers a marketplace for last-mile package delivery and logistics services, allowing customers to send packages and documents within Nairobi and its environs using a mobile application that connects them to motorcycle riders, and drivers of vans and pickup trucks.VC4A had the chance to connect Malaika Judd, the COO of Sendy. We asked her about the recent deal closed with the Safaricom Spark Venture Fund and her experiences raising capital.

Can you highlight the origins of [...] Continue reading On-demand package delivery, Sendy closes deal with Safaricom Spark Venture Fund »


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The Rhetoric of Ecosystems: Who do African tech entrepreneurs really need?

By Nicolas Friederici on December 15, 2015

Much has been said lately about the role of incubators, accelerators and other entrepreneurship ‘ecosystem players’ in Africa. Nicolas Friederici argues to re-define the term ‘ecosystems’ as there is a risk for initiatives ‘to lose touch and set up ineffective, wasteful, or even harmful projects’.

We’ve all been there. You’re in a conversation about conditions for tech entrepreneurship somewhere in Africa, let’s say Harare. It’s all quite complicated: there are lots of actors (entrepreneurs, universities, donors, hubs and incubators, etc.) with different levels of capacity (skills, experience, funds, etc.) and also lots of broader conditions (market opportunities, regulation, etc.). All seems to be somehow connected to the story of a typical local entrepreneur. But you’re looking for a simple way to describe everything which, you assume, [...] Continue reading The Rhetoric of Ecosystems: Who do African tech entrepreneurs really need? »


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Exits of startups in Africa: inspiring examples… Who’s next?

By Miguel Heilbron on December 8, 2015

Check out inspiring examples of African startup exits. Who could acquire the startup you’re building?

When investing in a startup, investors expects to get the return on their investment at the moment of ‘exit’, when the startup gets acquired. Investor Keet van Zyl already commented in an earlier article on the VC4Africa blog: “Trade sales to strategic buyers have been the most significant exit route in Africa, accounting for over half of all exits, followed by secondary buy-outs. Because African Stock Exchanges are relatively illiquid, exits via IPO are rare.”

A startup could for example be sold to a bigger local company or to a bigger foreign/international company. At that moment the company’s founders, investors and other shareholders all get their share.

When looking from the perspective of [...] Continue reading Exits of startups in Africa: inspiring examples… Who’s next? »


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Rwanda’s mobile commerce app MERGIMS secures USD 90K, looking for another USD 150K growth investment

By Miguel Heilbron on November 30, 2015

Today’s featured member of the VC4Africa community is Muhire Louis Antoine, Founder & CEO of Rwanda based mobile commerce app MERGIMS. 

MERGIMS connects migrants to merchants in their countries of origin, so they can buy electricity, airtime, mortgages and pay tuition fees for their relatives (at a service fee of 5%). The MERGIMS team recently won the Rwanda round of Seedstars 2015 and will represent Rwanda at the global Seedstars finals in Switzerland in February 2016. The MERGIMS app has been downloaded over 500 times.

What did you secure so far and how did you use the investments?

“In January we secured our first angel investment, USD 20K from African Angel Network. This allowed us to launch our activities in Rwanda and make available our beta [...] Continue reading Rwanda’s mobile commerce app MERGIMS secures USD 90K, looking for another USD 150K growth investment »


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Investor Profile: Rodrigue Fouafou – Diaspora investing in startups in Africa

By Miguel Heilbron on November 24, 2015

Last year we profiled VC4Africa member and ‘diaspora investor’ Rodrigue Fouafou after his investments in VC4Africa listed companies Njorku & Kiro’o Games. After his recent investment in SOKO Insight, also listed on VC4Africa, we had a chance to catch up.

VC4Africa member and investor Rodrigue Fouafou was born in Cameroon and currently lives and works in Canada. The Cameroonian-Canadian Rodrigue is CEO and President of business consulting and investment company HartNamtemah, which he founded together with Canadian serial entrepreneur and investment advisor Marc Andre Hart.

Rodrigue became a member of the VC4Africa community of entrepreneurs and investors in 2013 and has invested in multiple VC4Africa listed ventures since, including Njorku, Kiro’o Games (based in Cameroon), Bumbou (based in Senegal) and [...] Continue reading Investor Profile: Rodrigue Fouafou – Diaspora investing in startups in Africa »