The first closing on Startup Wise Guys’ major new fund for African startup investment has been completed. Startup Wise Guys is Europe’s most experienced startup accelerator and one of its most active investment funds.
SWG also recently announced the first cohort of startups to be selected into its new African B2B digital SaaS accelerator program.
Wise Guys Africa Fund I, the first closing of this new €8.5 million fund, marks the start of a major commitment for Startup Wise Guys’ African initiatives.
Through 2023, SWG will invest in a minimum of 30 startups. More than 300 African startups applied, and the first group was picked from among them.
The nine selected startups, which span the fields of Fintech, Agritech, Edtech, Cleantech, HealthTech, and RetailTech, will each receive a €65,000 ticket and a four-month mentorship. The selected startups will also get the opportunity to pitch for up to €250,000 in follow-on funding.
As the startup investment and venture capital scene in Africa heats up, there is still a significant absence of real support from the very beginning.
Recent headline-grabbing announcements regarding startup funding in Africa have primarily centered on scale-ups and other larger-scale activities, leaving early-stage startups wanting for resources.
SWG believes that while there have been incredible success stories in Africa, the African ecosystem could benefit from more support at the very early stages, the exact area where they are experts.
Startup Wise Guys is proud to be both first believers and ecosystem catalysers, and works hard to get their startups traction and follow-on investment.
“It is a great privilege for me to be working closely with these nine, multi-talented teams from across Africa and in different verticals. All entrepreneurs deserve to have an accountability partner and someone that can give an independent opinion and critique their business strategy, which will be my main role,” said Program Managing Director Eliud Mungai.
He added that he’s “eager to get to know the selected teams better and help them to connect with mentors, partners and investors from all over the world.”
Startup Wise Guys’ investment in Africa is part of a larger initiative, years in the making. SWG has a long-term vision and strategy in which Africa plays a big role.
This stems in part from the experience of some of its managing partners, including global CEO Cristobal Alonso who was a co-founder of MOBOfree.
Other Venture Partners for the Africa program include Chika Nwobi (Nigeria), Adia Sowho (Nigeria, MTN Nigeria CMO), and Ambassador Samuel Amanor (Ghana).
“I spent many years traveling to Nigeria and a number of other African countries. There was always a sense of excitement in the startup scene, and at Startup Wise Guys we have felt the growth of the African ecosystem in our European programs, with an increased number of applicants from across the continent,” said Startup Wise Guys’ Global CEO Cristobal Alonso.
“Our purpose is to help founders become entrepreneurs and to help them to build great international, sustainable companies. In addition, we want to create a strong, long-lasting impact. We have a long-term vision and this covers also becoming a considerable player on the African continent.”
The selected startups for SWG’s Africa Saas are:
T40 (Nigeria) – T40 helps intercity transport and logistics businesses manage their online and offline sales, payments, operations, fleet, and customers all in one place
Zofi Cash (Uganda) – Making everyday a payday through real-time payroll processing and flexible salary advance.
KIOTAPAY (Kenya) – A cloud-based property management and services platform that automates tasks and processes for property owners and creates access to goods and services for tenants.
Nigenius (Nigeria) – A smart website that provides teachers with free quality lesson plans and online teaching resources.
Dukapepe (Kenya) – Empowering small shop owners for Stronger Communities
Cylon Accounting (Namibia) – An accounting software to help small businesses in Southern Africa to manage their money like a BOSS!
FloodGates (Ghana) – Digital Identity Solutions for Africa.
FxKUDI (Ghana) – FXKudi is solving the problem of offline cross-border money transfers in West Africa by offering instant and reliable no-fee money transfers using distributed agent networks and in-app self-service transfers.
Scrapays (Nigeria) – On-demand disposal of recyclable wastes for independent businesses.