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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Ghana’s mobile money company Zeepay secures USD 200K from local investor, partners with Airtel and others

By Miguel Heilbron on November 19, 2015


Congrats to the Zeepay team! The Ghanaian mobile money merchant service platform Zeepay launched at DEMO Africa 2015 by VC4Africa member Andrew Takyi-Appiah secured an investment of USD 200K from a local institutional investor and closed partnerships with Airtel and other large international mobile operators.

This September Zeepay was one of 30 tech innovations launched at the DEMO Africa 2015 event in Lagos, Nigeria. Zeepay is a Ghanaian owned company enabling mobile payments from both smart phones and other mobile phones and supporting international remittances onto points of sale, with mobile money as a payment instrument. Operating as an aggregator for mobile financial services, […]

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Research startup SOKO Insight secures 12K USD, looks for similar new investment

By Miguel Heilbron on November 13, 2015


VC4Africa listed research startup SOKO Insight secured 12K USD from the Hartnamtemah company of VC4Africa listed investor Rodrigue Fouafou. The company is now looking to raise an additional 13K investment from an investor with relevant expertise and network who can introduce them to more clients. Check out their VC4Africa venture profile

SOKO Insight is an internet-based information platform providing reliable data and insights from Africa, working with consumer surveys in five countries. Founder Yannick Lefang is a diaspora entrepreneur from Cameroon currently residing in Canada. SOKO Insight was founded in 2013 and is headquartered in Canada.

The company offers consumer and market information collection and aggregation within two weeks via a grassroots network of local partners and smart data analytics tools. The […]

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Kenya’s Classic Foods secures 50K Euros investment after Green Pioneer Accelerator

By Miguel Heilbron on November 6, 2015


Congratulations to the Classic Foods team! After the Green Pioneer Accelerator program not only Lady Bonin in South Africa but also Classic Foods in Kenya has secured a 50,000 Euros investment from Hivos! We had a chance to catch up with Classic Foods Founder Kariuki Wachira. Also see other success stories after the Green Pioneer Accelerator.

Classic Foods Limited participated in the Green Pioneer Accelerator program at Growth Africa in Nairobi. The company produces, processes and distributes a range of food products such as milk, yoghurt, flour, honey, tomato sauce, juices and nutritious flour products. Classic Foods is addressing the problem of improving food security by integrating agricultural production […]

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Village Capital Hardware program presents Africa 2015 Cohort: 10 Inspiring hardware startups

By Miguel Heilbron on November 2, 2015

 
Making use of the VC4Africa partner tool to reach out to the African startup community, Village Capital and Gearbox selected 10 entrepreneurs for the VilCap Hardware Africa program.

In August and September entrepreneurs were invited to apply to the VilCap Hardware program, hosted by Village Capital and Gearbox. Village Capital is a global firm supporting entrepreneurs solving major problems in society; Gearbox provides investors a space to build and showcase innovative ideas in East Africa.

Village Capital aims to support the next generation of “invention-based businesses” hardware solutions across Africa, with a special focus on inventions that improve access to energy for all, and increase agricultural productivity for small-holder farmers.

Over the next months the VilCap Hardware program will support the 10 selected hardware […]

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Green Pioneer Accelerator in Kenya and South Africa leads to multiple investment deals

By Miguel Heilbron on October 27, 2015


After the Green Pioneer Accelerator’s graduation last June, multiple investment deals and other partnerships have been closed and are in the works for the 21 innovative companies that participated in the program.

The inaugural Green Pioneer Accelerator, launched at the Seed Africa Symposium 2014 and completed a few months ago, focused on early stage enterprises contributing innovative solutions to environmental issues. Impact Amplifier, GrowthAfrica, VC4Africa and Hivos offered the programme to selected businesses, taking them from ‘market proof’ to ‘ready for investment’. Twenty one committed entrepreneurs were selected for the programme in Kenya and South Africa. At the program […]

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Lady Bonin’s Tea secures 50K Euros investment after Green Pioneer Accelerator

By Miguel Heilbron on October 26, 2015


Congratulations to the team at Lady Bonin’s Tea! The South African sustainable tea company secured a 50,000 Euros investment from Hivos after the Green Pioneer Accelerator, where they participated at the program at Impact Amplifier. We had a chance to catch up with Lady Bonin Founder Jessica Bonin. 

Lady Bonin’s Tea is a socially responsible brand that develops uniquely blends and distributes high quality teas. The company aims to shift the consumer’s experience and perception of tea, says Jessica Bonin, Founder of Lady Bonin’s tea.

Congratulations on the new funding! What have you secured and what milestones do you want to reach?

“I am beyond words. It is the greatest honour for me. I have worked so hard and have done this alone, sometimes […]

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