Safaricom’s US$1 million Spark Venture Fund has recieved over 200 enquiries and applications from Kenyan start-ups and is now set for the short-list phase.
Working with TBL Mirror as the fund managers, Safaricom has now embarked on the process of evaluating the best start-ups in the set.
“We are on course to fulfil the promise that we made more than three years ago when we committed to nurture the growing mobile development space in Kenya. We believe that the sector is ripe for the development of innovative, local-based solutions that have viable commercial application,” said Joe Ogutu, Director for Innovation and Strategy, Safaricom.
Those selected will receive between Sh7 million and Sh22 million to invest in their businesses in return for a minority stake in their companies as well access strategic relationships with partners designed to empower them with the skills to build sustainable businesses, access a suite of Safaricom services, as well as gain access to a mix of marketing channels that aim to help the start-ups gain market share and in turn help boost revenue generation.
For a start-up to be considered for funding, the firm’s Directors must demonstrate that they are willing to ramp up and scale their operations with a view to growing their market share.
“We have seen promising and good quality start-ups that are starting to build up experienced teams alongside their technical and sales workforce. This illustrates the high level of interest in the market for scalable, locally developed and innovative solutions,” said Eline Blaauboer, Fund Manager, TBL Mirror.