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Baobab Network Doubles Its Tickets To $100,000 As Y-Combinator (YC) Pulls Back From Africa

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Baobab Network, an early-stage investor and accelerator that backs technology companies across Africa, has announced plans to invest in 1000 companies between now and 2033 providing $100,000 in funding for each company that goes through its 12-week accelerator program.

Having launched their accelerator in 2019, Baobab has consistently been one of the most active investors across Africa, backing locally led companies from day one designed to set each business up for scale.

Announcing their latest 5 investments, Toby Hanington (Co-founder, Baobab) said they now have the platform to dramatically scale the number of investments they review and execute across Africa.

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Baobab’s new cohort includes Brandrive, PocketFood and Bunce (all Nigeria), as well as Kawu (Uganda) & Alal (Senegal). Each company has received $50,000 directly from Baobab, with another $50,000 investment from their newly launched Co-Investment Vehicle.

YC retreating, and other market dynamics behind Baobab’s bullishness

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Africa has not been immune to global market dynamics, but Baobab continues to be one of the most active pre-seed investors in Africa. Baobab Network has already completed 10 deals this year, with another larger cohort expected in Q4.

Additionally, Baobab recently hired Niama El Bassunie as Managing Partner – a YC alumni and one of Africa’s exited entrepreneur to drive its growth on the continent.

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Launched in 2016, and based out of offices in Nairobi, Lagos and London, Baobab is a sector and geographically agnostic investor within Africa, and entrepreneurs that join Baobab’s accelerator receive $100,000 USD in funding as well as access to a global network of partners and co-investors. Baobab’s vision is to build a multi-product investment business, investing in 1000 startups in Africa over the next 10 years.

Morocco-based logistics startup Colis.ma recently received $50,000 from Kenya’s The Baobab Network as part of its accelerator programme. In September 2022, its four investees secured $50,000 USD in funding each. They included Nigeria’s Oval Interactive, an interactive MarTech platform enabling people to earn and learn while providing brands with an opportunity to engage with consumers under their flagship product Trivia Billionia. Two South African start-ups, Lemon, a platform enabling businesses to purchase industrial supplies with ease,  and Local Knowledge, a TravelTech supporting digital travellers to explore Africa and enrich the lives of locals and Shemach, a marketplace making it easier for small retailers in Ethiopia to order, warehouse and pay for inventory. 

In May 2022, Baobab’s cohort of five investees received US$25,000 each. They included Nigeria’s Sidebrief, which helps African companies build across borders by streamlining legals, incorporation, company admin, banking and regulation through their APIs; Lendha, a full-stack, tech-led lending platform; and GoodTalent, a talent marketplace for companies to crowdsource, screen, hire and pay engineering talents globally, for full-time, remote, and contract roles. Also selected were Egypt’s Opus Analytics, which is building HR and people analytics software for SMEs and corporates in the MENA region and beyond; and Zambia’s Mighty Finance, a lending platform for SMEs.

Other startups that received $50,000 USD capital injection from Baobab include Kenya’s Afrigility, which is revolutionising East African logistics with its novel asset-light technology, offering B2B e-commerce fulfilment and on-demand warehousing solutions. Togo’s Eazy Chain formerly Togo Cargo, which provides an integrated logistics solution offering air, sea, and road freight services, facilitating seamless cargo transportation. Nigeria’s ePoultry, an agriculture marketplace offering poultry farmers input credits, advisory services, and a dynamic B2B marketplace to eliminate systemic inefficiencies by leveraging data from its +1000 farmers and Guinea Conakry’s MuduPay, a platform that enables Africans to move money via online payments from anywhere using their world-class technology tech stack.

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James Musoba
James Musoba
Studying Africa's startup and technology scene. I always look forward to discovering new exciting inventions and vibrant entrepreneurs.

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