Startup Wise Guys (SWG), a European startup accelerator and investment fund, completed the first closing on its new fund for Afrikan startups of €8,5 million. The organization has also announced the first batch of startups that have been selected as part of its new, Afrikan B2B digital SaaS accelerator program.
Known as the Wise Guys Africa Fund I, marks a significant milestone for SWG's intentions for Afrika's tech startup ecosystem.
“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.
Afrika's growing tech startup ecosystem
There has been growing interest in Afrika's tech ecosystem over the past decade. This can also be witnessed by the record amount of VC funds that Afrikan startups raised in 2021. The highest number to date.
SWG has said the fund is part of a long-term vision and strategy in which Afrika 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 Afrika 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.”
Afrikan startups selected for the SaaS accelerator program
The nine selected startups – coming from across the fields of Fintech, Agritech, Edtech, Cleantech, HealthTech, and RetailTech – will each receive a €65,000 ticket for up to a 12% equity stake as well as an intensive four-month mentorship. The selected startups will also have the chance to pitch for follow-on funding of up to €250,000.
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 every day 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.
— By Tefo Mohapi