The Africa-focused seed investment firm in September this year admitted the four startups from Nigeria, Ghana, Uganda and Kenya and apart from seed money worked with them the Y-Combinator style to develop their business.
The four startups were selected from over 80 applicants who applied to the fund after a ‘month long competitive process.’
Speaking to TechMoran Mbana Alliy, Savannah Fund Partner said all of the startups have revenue though they are early stage but have two to three paying customers but most of themsome of the startups have paying customers and $15,000 susbcriptions
“We worked with them on their marketing as the weakest thing in most startups in Africa is marketing position. So we provide alot of extra help to their marketing positioning, messaging, know who they are trying to sell to and help them make money at the end of the day.”
Launching at Afrikoin, Savannah Fund’s second batch of startups is made of more eCormmercecompanies than its first batch. The startups include Kenya’s Cardplanet solution, a payment card solutions firm for students and schools, Uganda’s Inforex,a foreign exchange network to allow users check and trade currencies amongst each other in Africa, Kenya’s Zatiti.com, :an SME e-commerce platform and applications builder and Nigeria’s and Ghana’s Zished, a loyalty and gifting ecommerce platform for users in the diaspora and locally.
According to Alliy the fund used no strategy to pick only eCormmerce and payments startups but realized that the four that were picked from the over 80 were in the eCormmerce space and they loved it.
“We just picked the startups that where good for us, and after having them in we realized they were in the ecommerce and payments space, so we just didnt want to have another demo day, but for value addition, we decided to have a demo day that will work for our startups, as they have been asking us questions on payments, cedit cards, regulations among others, hence Afrikoin.”
“To grow eccommerce, we need to understand payments, so we have to also discuss emerging trends, such as bitcoins among otehrs, so we shall have cross-collaboration and learning from the players in our local payments sector such as PayPal, Equity Bank, PesaPal, 3G Direct pay, KopoKopo, ipay, JamboPay, Mamamikes and Kipochi,” he told TechMoran
The four startups will therefore have time to learn from players already in the field and will also share their own experiences with them at Afrikoin, schedulled to be held at the iHub November 20. Apart from the startups launching and payment firms present, the event is open to anyone interested in knowing the future of eccormerce and payments in Kenya and Africa as a whole.
The startups had their 1st accelerator session with Silicon Valley’s Jed McCaleb, the developer of MtGox a leading Bitcoin exchanger and also founder of OpenCoin and Andreesen- Horowitz backed Ripple and Joyce Kim, co-founder of simplehoney, a mobile commerce startup and a mentor at 500 Startups . The mentors took them through aspects of building a company from financing to monetization.
The Nairobi-based Savannah Fund, is an early stage seed fund investing between US$25,000-US$500,000 into web and mobile startups in sub-Saharan Africa and was founded by Mbwana Alliy, Erik hersman and Paul Bragiel.