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 announced that its first batch of African startups was selected for its 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 at least 30 startups by 2023. From more than 300 applications, the first batch of startups were selected.
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 venture capital and startup investment heat up in Africa, there is still a significant lack of support at the very beginning stages.
Most recent headline-grabbing announcements concerning startup investment in Africa have focused on scaling-ups, which leaves the early stage startups lacking resources.
SWG believes that, while there have been many success stories in Africa’s, more support could be given to the African ecosystem at its very early stages. This is the area where experts are needed.
Startup Wise Guys prides itself on being both ecosystem catalysts and first believers. They work hard to help their startups gain traction and continue to invest.
“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 an overarching strategy and vision that places Africa at the center of its long-term vision.
This is partly due to the expertise of some of its management partners, including Cristobal Alonso, global CEO and co-founder of MOBOfree.
Chika Nwobi (Nigeria), AdiaSowho (Nigeria), MTN Nigeria CMO and Ambassador Samuel Amanor(Ghana), are some of the other Venture Partners for the Africa programme.
“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. We want to make a lasting impact and have a strong, sustainable 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.