One of the most discussed topics around Africa is how hard it is to get a VC firm to invest on the new and early stage Startup/s. The issue is not only the VCs but even the local investors are shying away from high risk early stage tech startups, leaving the sector to struggle with issue of raising funds. And of course the banking sector with their security bla bla is a no go zone.
But today three entrepreneurs Mbwana Alliy, Paul Bragiel and Erik Hersman have announced the launch of Venture Capital Fund known as Savannah Fund. Savannah Fund, an accelerator fund focused on finding and investing in East Africa’s highest potential pre-revenue startups. Savannah fund which amounts to US$ 10 million will cover classes of five startups at a time. The three have raised half of the amount and at the moment accepting application.
Savannah Fund will spread its wing to all East Africa countries including South Sudan ..That is Rwanda ,Tanzania, Uganda, South Sudan and Kenya.
From Whiteafrican Blog
The idea is to bring the Silicon Valley-style accelerator model to Africa, seeing what needs to be tweaked to make it work for our region. It’s a small fund at $10m, with most of the activity focused on classes of 5 startups at a time being brought on board and invested in. They’ll get $25,000 for 15% equity, and have 3-6 months to prove themselves. Those who fail either pivot or leave, those who gain traction have a chance at follow-on funding. A portion of the fund will be invested at the $100-200k range where we’ll look at follow-on funding for the startups in our program, and also at other high-growth tech companies in the region.
I think this a great initiative and will go a long way in solving funding problem in East Africa.
[pullquote]The venture capital fund makes money by owning equity in the companies it invests in, which usually have a novel technology or business model in high technology industries, such as biotechnology, IT, software, etc. [/pullquote]