Disrupt Fund will inject $10,000 per startup for 5 percent equity plus free access to its API, customer base and technology to help them get to market faster.
The fund is open to companies operating in Uganda, Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire and Egypt. Applicants much have a functioning product, be post revenue and looking to operate in multiple countries and can be in the insurance, health, education sectors.
According to Chijioke Dozie, CEO and co-founder of Carbon, “ There are many excellent companies across the continent looking for the kind of scale Nigeria offers and we are excited to partner with them to provide the support and financial investment they need. We are equally excited to expand beyond Nigeria and Kenya by working with a new generation of innovators across the continent and sharing our experience to tackle common obstacles to growth”
Though Carbon says Disrupt fund aims to address the neglect of other sectors as more than 50 percent of startup funding on the continent in 2019 went to fintech firms, Disrupt fund is a great marketing and customer acquisition tool for the venture-backed firm.
The fund will also provide mentorship, access to Carbon’s customers and payment platform, as well as office space in Carbon’s Lagos offices, which in itself will lead to traffic to its products.
Since launching in 2016, Carbon has amassed 2.1 million users. The company disbursed more than $63.7 million in loans in 2019 and processed more than $140 million in transactions.
In December 2019, the company announced its expansion into the Kenyan market, as well as its Carbon for Business platform which provides startups, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and FinTechs with access to uncollateralized credit, secure online payments, reliable funds transfer and fast KYC (know your customer) compliance obligations.
Ngozi Dozie, co-founder of Carbon, added “The investing environment for early stage startups has improved in recent years. However, a key issue for most startups that has not been addressed is the cost of customer acquisition. A lot of money is spent on acquiring customers, mainly via social media, when a more collaborative approach among tech companies could be more efficient. Our fund will enable this collaboration, allowing others to market to our customer base and vice versa – a win-win for everyone. As the saying goes, ‘if you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together’”.