“Coming to the end of a 2 year long amazing journey at MEST Africa that has absolutely changed my life in ways I didn’t imagine possible, challenged what I believed possible, inspired me, humbled me hard,” wrote Aaron Fu in a blog post.
Fu, who has served as the Managing Director at MEST Incubator since September 2017 saw the then Accra-based accelerator expand across Africa, launch a pan-African tech conference and invest in over 25 startups from less than ten. MEST Africa has recorded a number of acquisitions which are expected to grow as the firm bolsters its pan-African reach.
Before his gig at MEST, Fu was the Managing Partner at Nest Ventures heading NEST’s Kenya office. Prior to that he served as Head of Digital Banking for Africa at Standard Chartered PLC where he shaped the firm’s digital sales framework across Africa.
Fu has been good for the African tech ecosystem because of his experience both within investment firms and startups and in conventional corporate roles, including Standard Chartered Bank and Societe Generale, across Asia, Europe, Australia and Africa. He has also lived in most of these markets in Africa.
“I really wanna take a bit of time out to focus on family, health and friends (you know, the important stuff,” Fu said. “I will also be spending more time with my own small startup portfolio — who are doing things I wish I was brave and smart enough to do ?♀️?♂️. Looking forward to a sprint with Benjamin Fernandes and the NALA Money team in the coming weeks.”
Fu is looking to work with ventures in Early Stage Smart Capital and especially on how this capital can be unlocked and deployed to the right founders on the continent. He is also looking at ventures in talent development as startups in Africa continue to struggle for talent, and has shown great interest in startups solving this issue such as Andela and Moringa School.
“These are not new questions but certainly ones that have I have been deeply curious about and acutely frustrated about for years, it’s just not right. If you share these frustrations or curiosity, please say hey! This is a journey I’d love to share,” he said in his medium partying shot.
“This isn’t a note about departure — none of that here, but about my gratitude to those who’ve been with me on this journey and my hopes for the future,” he concluded.
Fu is also a founding mentor of XL Africa, a five-month business acceleration program designed by the World Bank to prepare 20 selected startups to raise between $250,000 and $1.5 million in early-stage capital. He is also the founder of Mettā Nairobi, a community-led initiative designed to bring entrepreneurs and the wider startup ecosystem closer together.
Fu has invested in Tanzania’s Nala Money, micro-learning startup Mosabi, enterprise social media platform Ongair in his personal capacity and is an advisor to BuuPass, a bus booking platform for East Africa. With his various experiences, his move into angel investing is a logical next step.
This post has been edited to emphasize that Aaron’s new focus will be family, health