The JUA Kickstarter Fund, which will provide African entrepreneurs capital to expand their business ventures, has seen the funding amount doubled to $2-million. This addition makes the fund become the biggest African capital venture fund launched by private individuals.
The JUA Kickstarter Fund was launched by Africa’s industrialist, Adam Molai, in November 2020 with US$1 million made available for African entrepreneurs. A further $1-million has since been pledged by US-based angel investing and mentorship firm, Simba Global Startups which brings the total investment amount to US$2 million.
In announcing the additional funding, Adam Molai says the added capital allows the fund to make bigger investments in enterprises as well as fund more businesses on the continent.
“Simba Global Startups has pledged to match, like-for-like, our contributions which is absolutely incredible. This is an example of how Africans can work together to solve the challenges facing the continent. As an African entrepreneur who has experienced the grueling journey of establishing businesses, I firmly believe that Africa’s destiny lies in the hands of Africans.”
He continues that this new addition means it is not foreign investment that will provide Africa with a seat at the global table but domestic investments, a view actually shared by Simba Global Startups. This move is going to benefit the many entrepreneurs and startups who are growing economies across Africa as well as creating jobs.
JUA (JUA Kickstarter Fund), which means Sunrise in KiSwahili is going to provide successful applicants with funds enabling them launch or grow their businesses. They are as well benefiting from mentoring and guidance.
The application process is still ongoing till the 31st of January, 2020, electronically and funds are expected to be disbursed to successful applicants within 12 weeks of their shortlisting.
For the Simba founder and CEO, Dr. Philippe Kisunzu
“Born in the DRC, I am a child of the continent who grew up experiencing the atrocities of its civil wars. These intense challenges nurtured within me a vision for prosperity and hope for the people in my village and community.’
His deepest belief, he added, is that this vision is best attained when entrepreneurs create jobs which are scalable, profitable, sustainable and inclusive. With a JUA-SIMBA investing partnership, he agrees is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to play an active role in making this dream a reality.
Two months since it was launched, the JUA Kickstarter Fund has received more than 500 applications across Africa. As you’ll have it, most of the applications so far are from countries like Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa and Zimbabwe. Entrepreneurs from Ghana, Tanzania, Benin, Namibia and eSwatini have also made strong showings.
ImaliPay: Nairobi Fintech Startup Raises Pre-Seed Funding Led By TEN13
ImaliPay, a fintech startup helping African freelancers reach their financial goals has raised an undisclosed amount in pre-seed funding from the Australian venture capitalist, TEN13, reputed for investing in top-tier start-ups.
According to ImaliPay, the primary aim of this newly raised funding is to expand and accelerate their growth and footprint in Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya to be a one-stop-shop for gig workers’ financial needs on the continent.
The backing of ImaliPay by TEN13 is on the back of recent chain of events that has elevated the visibility of Africa’s fintech startup scene.
Commenting on the deal, Managing Partner of TEN13, Stew Glenn, said,
ImaliPay in 2020 was co-founded by Zimbabwe’s Tatenda Furusa and Sanmi Akinmusire a Nigerian, who were former colleagues at the leading payments company Cellulant. The fintech company thinks the investment from the venture capital has significant benefits.
In a statement released to the press, Tatenda Furusa said,
It’s a great opportunity for investors to participate in the fintech revolution and a fast-growing segment. Our vision at ImaliPay is to advance financial health and inclusion for gig workers who struggle to manage and access flexible financial services that are often only available to traditional SMEs.
The growth in the African gig workforce is being pushed by the growth in digitization and smartphone penetration. Gig workers constitute a significant proportion of the economy within ImaliPay’s target markets and this market segment is expected to grow rapidly over the next decade.
ImaliPay offers gig workers a one-stop-shop of financial services such as the ability to seamlessly save their income and receive in-kind loans through a “buy now, pay later” model tied to their trade.
Bolt drivers in Kenya can now request a fuel loan and payback after 3-4 days, this allows them to get more work done and Safeboda riders in Nigeria can now buy on credit bike parts, fuel, and smartphones to keep their gig moving and reduce any downtime.
Other products to be offered off the platform include insurance and investment options to foster a safety net for this hard-working but vulnerable part of the population.
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