Startup Wise Guys, Europe’s most experienced startup accelerator and one of its most active investment funds, has completed the first closing on its major new fund for African startup investment.
SWG also announced recently that the first batch of startups that have been selected as part of its new, African B2B digital SaaS accelerator program.
The first closing of this new, €8.5 million fund, Wise Guys Africa Fund I, marks the beginning of a major commitment for Startup Wise Guys’ African initiatives.
SWG will invest in a minimum of 30 startups through 2023. The first batch of startups was chosen from more than 300 African startup applications.
The nine selected startups – coming from across the fields of Fintech, Agritech, Edtech, Cleantech, HealthTech and RetailTech – will each receive a €65,000 ticket for up to a 12% equity stake as well as an intensive four-month mentorship. The selected startups will also have the chance to pitch for follow-on funding of up to €250,000.
As startup investment and venture capital in Africa begins to heat up, there remains a pronounced lack of meaningful support at the very-early stage.
Recent attention-grabbing announcements about startup investment in Africa have mostly focused on scale-ups and other larger scale operations, leaving the earlier stage startups wanting for resources.
SWG believes that while there have been incredible success stories in Africa, the African ecosystem could benefit from more support at the very early stages, the exact area where they are experts.
Startup Wise Guys is proud to be both first believers and ecosystem catalysers, and works hard to get their startups traction and follow-on investment.
“It is a great privilege for me to be working closely with these nine, multi-talented teams from across Africa and in different verticals. All entrepreneurs deserve to have an accountability partner and someone that can give an independent opinion and critique their business strategy, which will be my main role,” said Program Managing Director Eliud Mungai.
He added that he’s “eager to get to know the selected teams better and help them to connect with mentors, partners and investors from all over the world.”
Startup Wise Guys’ investment in Africa is part of a larger initiative, years in the making. SWG has a long-term vision and strategy in which Africa plays a big role.
This stems in part from the experience of some of its managing partners, including global CEO Cristobal Alonso who was a co-founder of MOBOfree.
Other Venture Partners for the Africa program include Chika Nwobi (Nigeria), Adia Sowho (Nigeria, MTN Nigeria CMO), and Ambassador Samuel Amanor (Ghana).
“I spent many years traveling to Nigeria and a number of other African countries. There was always a sense of excitement in the startup scene, and at Startup Wise Guys we have felt the growth of the African ecosystem in our European programs, with an increased number of applicants from across the continent,” said Startup Wise Guys’ Global CEO Cristobal Alonso.
“Our purpose is to help founders become entrepreneurs and to help them to build great international, sustainable companies. In addition, we want to create a strong, long-lasting impact. We have a long-term vision and this covers also becoming a considerable player on the African continent.”
The selected startups for SWG’s Africa Saas are:
T40 (Nigeria) – T40 helps intercity transport and logistics businesses manage their online and offline sales, payments, operations, fleet, and customers all in one place
Zofi Cash (Uganda) – Making everyday a payday through real-time payroll processing and flexible salary advance.
KIOTAPAY (Kenya) – A cloud-based property management and services platform that automates tasks and processes for property owners and creates access to goods and services for tenants.
Nigenius (Nigeria) – A smart website that provides teachers with free quality lesson plans and online teaching resources.
Dukapepe (Kenya) – Empowering small shop owners for Stronger Communities
Cylon Accounting (Namibia) – An accounting software to help small businesses in Southern Africa to manage their money like a BOSS!
FloodGates (Ghana) – Digital Identity Solutions for Africa.
FxKUDI (Ghana) – FXKudi is solving the problem of offline cross-border money transfers in West Africa by offering instant and reliable no-fee money transfers using distributed agent networks and in-app self-service transfers.
Scrapays (Nigeria) – On-demand disposal of recyclable wastes for independent businesses.
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