Savannah Fund Leads Series A Funding Round in South Africa’s BabyGroup

Malaika, Mbwana and James (Image Savannah Fund)

Last week we announced that Savannah Fund participated in a Series A funding round for Wyzetalk, a South African-based secure social business platform that accelerates the performance of organisations via communication, collaboration, innovation and engagement.

Savannah Fund has also lead a Series A round into BabyGroup’s, its second startup from the region. The undisclosed round had a strong participation from other local investors.

According to the fund, South Africa is the most advanced e-commerce market in Africa in terms of readiness, market size and payments and delivery infrastructure and the investment in BabyGroup cements its thesis to invest in the continent’s Ecommerce space and on the Africa retail transformation. E-commerce represents about 40% of SavannahFund’s portfolio.

Founded by James Townsend-Rose, Andrew Valentine and Henri Holtzhausen, BabyGroup provides Moms with the best online shop, information and support during pregnancy, birth and parenthood.

“It is our aim to provide you with all the expert information, carefully selected products and community support that you need in order to be the best mom or dad you can possibly be,” says the team on their site. “We do this by being meticulous about quality and customer service and by being passionate about bringing new and useful products and services to the South African parenting community.”

Now with  15 investments across Kenya, South Africa, Ghana, Nigeria and Uganda, Savannah Fund says its companies have created 100+ jobs and raised over $8M in co-investments and follow on funding within 2 years. The fund aims to help them expand across Subsaharan Africa and connect them to SiliconValley, where it has strong roots. Both Mbwana Ally and Erik Hersman have been at the forefront of Africa’s internet businesses for years and sit on boards of several startups in Africa and around the world. Paul Bragiel, who was recently on an African tour is also a founding partner of i/o ventures and Golden Gate ventures, and has firms such as Uber, Zappos, RedMart among others.