88mph African Startup Seed Accelerator Partners with European eVentures Africa Fund
April 16th, 2013
Collaboration aims to drive more European venture capital into Africa and interest in early stage startups
NAIROBI, Kenya – April 16, 2013 – 88mph, an African seed fund and accelerator based in both Nairobi and Cape Town, announced today a partnership with eVentures Africa (eVA) Fund that will better link the two continents and investment opportunities for both parties.
eVA Fund is a European venture capital firm investing in Sub-Sahara’s African SME’s active in digital media. The Netherlands-based eVA Fund typically invests between $500,000 and $1.5 million in digital technology companies. Unlike any other partnerships eVA fund has entered into, the one with 88mph is geared towards improving early stage web/mobile startups’ chances for success.
Although the International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecasted an average growth rate of around five percent forAfrica in 2012, both novice and established entrepreneurs are still having a hard time finding sustainable financing.
eVA Fund, with its access to large investors, aims to review 88mph startups for follow-on funding opportunities.
“Bringing outside investors to Africa is crucial for the startup ecosystem,” says Kresten Buch. “With that being said, it’s not enough to just read the headlines and analyst reports about the current climate here. It’s something every serious investor needs to experience on their own.”
As part of the collaboration between the two companies, eVA Fund will bring its key fund investors or limited partners to 88mph’s offices in Cape Town (April 21, 2013) and Nairobi (April 24, 2013) where they’ll be holding mentoring sessions and providing feedback to startups’ pitches.
“These trips are crucial to educate our team and investors about what is happening in Africa and how we can be more strategic about the kinds of companies we invest in,” says Brian Hirman, founder and investment director at the eVA Fund.
88mph’s overarching goal is to bring more investment and attention to Africa. The company has partnered with Google for Entrepreneurs and is also funded by private investors including 4Di Capital, Hannes van Renburg, Fundamo CEO and Ranjith Cherickel, Head of Sales and Business Development, Africa at Nokia Siemens Networks, among others.
88mph is a privately funded startup accelerator and seed fund, investing in web/mobile startups targeting the African market. The company offers three-month accelerator programs in Nairobi and Cape Town. 88mph makes investments simultaneously in 10-12 startups, enabling them to learn from each other and make use of an extensive network of business and technology professionals as well as dedicated startup entrepreneurs in residence. 88mph is Africa’s most active seed fund, with over 24 investments since 2011. To date, the company has spent over one million dollars investing and supporting startups in Africa.
About eVentures Africa Fund
eVentures Africa Fund (eVA Fund) is a venture capital firm investing in African SME’s active in digital media, which include rapidly developing localized applications, content, platforms and solutions enabling over a billion Africans to use the web for communication, business, e-learning, news, transactions. The company’s mission is to capture the vast potential of digital media in sub-Saharan Africa, thus bridging the so-called ‘digital divide’ and in doing so, generating attractive financial returns for investors.