Pangea, a Norwegian platform connecting African startups with international investment and expertise has opened applications for its Startup Connect Programme.
The Pangea Connect Investment Program aims to support startups on their entrepreneurship journey by funding their projects. All this the firm says will be geared towards advancing a sustainable economy ecosystem in Kenya as a vehicle for economic development and growth through the creation of jobs and reduction of poverty.
The programme is looking for high-growth African startups looking for capital to scale. Startups at the scale stage of their growth are also eligible to apply. Selected startups will receive investment of between $20,000 and $150,000 as well as access to a diaspora network of mentors and experts.
This comes at a time when African startups continue to raise massive funding. In fact a recent report by AfricArena has revealed that venture capital funding for African startups will reach a record of $2.25 billion and $2.8 billion this year. While 2020 undersized its growth, due to the pandemic, the report noted that VC investment is expected to climb sharply and exceed $10 billion by 2025.
Nigeria and Kenya are the hotspots for African VC investment, with $307 million and $305 million raised in 2020. In the first half of 2021, Africa startups raised a whopping $1.19 billion in funding, with deals worth $1 million and above accounting for about 95% ($1.14 billion) of the total funding raised. This is according to another report released by Maxime Bayen, a Senior Venture Builder for Catalyst Fund at BFA Global.
Last month Pangea, Garage48 with support from the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Development Cooperation Fundheld a two-day workshop to design solutions for challenges that the startups in the region are facing. In May this year, Pangea also unveiled a scale-up program offering private funding of up to Ksh 300 million and business support for startups in Kenya.
The program, Pangea said will enable locally funded startups to accelerate their enterprises to the next level and further enable them to move up the ladder from the Seed level to Series A.
Jonas Tesfu, CEO and Co-founder, Pangea Accelerator: “Out of the local startups that have raised more than $1 million, only 6% have local founders while the rest are founded by expatriates. As an accelerator, we are looking to change this narrative and enable more African entrepreneurs to gain access to the capital they need to move to the next level through programs like the Pangea Scaleup program.”
The new Pangea Startup Connect Programme is open to startups from across the region. Interested startups can submit their applications here.