Savannah Fund, a seed capital fund based at iHub Nairobi and injecting US$25,000-US$500,000 investments into early stage high growth web and mobile start-ups in sub-Saharan Africa has announced applications for its second batch of start-ups.
The fund announced, “We are accepting the second batch scheduled to start in mid July 2013 and we are taking applications now. We welcome startup applications from all over the world who are addressing the subsaharan Africa market.”
Run by Erik Hersman, Mbana Alliy and Paul Bragiel, Savannah Fund’s Accelerator Program invested into bINU, SafariDesk , Mprep.it, Kola Studios and Ahonya.com as their first batch of start-ups. We shall bring you the funding details and criteria in an exclusive interview with the fund partners soon.
For the second batch, the fund says it will deploy $25,000 into five companies for a stake of about 15% equity in each. The accelerate them for 3 months. Applicants ought to apply online to be selected for an interview. Savannah Fund doesn’t want start-up wannabes to apply but successful teams with an initial prototype, early customers and revenue.
Core teams of the selected start-ups will be based at the iHub Nairobi during the duration of the program.
Initially focused on East Africa, Savannah Fund says it aims to bridge the early stage or angel and venture capital investment gap that currently exists in Africa by combining capital with mentor networks both in the region and from Silicon Valley via an accelerator program and a follow-on independent seed fund.
According to a report by African Venture Capital Association (AVCA), the total amount of private equity funds raised in Africa declined by 42.7% in 2005 to US$557 million, compared to US$971.8 million in 2004,with the highest proportion of funds raised by South Africa. Almost two-thirds of funds raised were for later stage investment.
Rod Evison, Portfolio Director at CDC responsible for Africa also added:“The private equity industry in Africa is still at an early stage of development. It has largely been backed by foreign investors and, even in South Africa, this continues to be the case.”
And agreeing with the report’s findings, Barbara James, Managing Director of AVCA, said: “Whilst early stage investment has dominated the volume of investment activity in Africa in 2005, the amount of funds raised to focus on early stage has declined significantly. This highlights a growing funding gap which we believe needs to be addressed to help sustain economic improvement in Africa.
Savannah Fund, managed by experienced and technology savvy partners and with an understanding of the Subsaharan African environment believe that by investing in sustainable for profit companies that create jobs, they will be making an impact. Apart from just money, the fund addresses founders skills and experience gap and helps them build a company and launch a product. The entrepreneurs will also learn from high value and reputable experienced local and international mentors who have been successful at building technology companies.
Apply to be interviewed and selected to the fund’s second cohort here.