Three Nigerian fintech startups DT2 Technologies, Bunce and ShipBubble are among the nine African startups selected for the €7.5 million Startup Wise Guys fund.
Selected startups for the fund are each eligible for €65,000 support for up to a 12% equity stake, as well as an intensive five-month accelerator program. They also have the chance to pitch for follow-on funding of up to €250,000. Startups were eligible to apply from Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda, with the first successful applicant from Tanzania in the new batch. The program, the first-ever African, B2B SaaS-focused accelerator, opened to applicants in October 2021, with the first batch of successful participants graduating in June 2022. The second round generated almost 500 applications. SWG selects and works with approximately 10 startups per batch, with plans to invest in 30 startups through 2023.
The nine startups selected to join batch two come from a wide range of industries including Fintech, Proptech, Data analytics and Retailtech.
Despite a high media profile, Startup Wise Guys says meaningful support programs remain thin on the ground for very early-stage African startups with mainstream funding still focused on scale-ups. In contrast, SWG is focusing in Africa on its central mission – startups still in the very early stages of business evolution with a B2B business model. Its strategy is to be startups’ “first believers” and also a catalyst for ecosystem development.
To date, SWG’s total investment in African start-ups, including follow-on investments, already exceeds €1.2 million. The accelerator has trained 102 startups from the continent in acceleration and pre-acceleration programs, benefiting an estimated 6,100 people. SWG is actively working with six startups from Nigeria, six from Kenya, two from Ghana, and one each from Namibia, Uganda, Tanzania, and Ivory Coast.
“Africa presents the most exciting potential for digitalization on the planet. About two-thirds of the predicted growth in global population between 2020 and 2050 will take place here”, said Program Managing Director Eliud Mungai. “Startup Wise Guys’ presence in Africa means we see the business opportunity from supporting startups, and we can also see the benefits for Africa. The portfolio startups in our Africa acceleration program will be leveraging digital technology to support the continent’s growing population with Fintech, Healthtech and Retailtech, and catalyze sustainable business growth to provide jobs and prosperity.”
Startup Wise Guys’ investment in Africa is part of a larger initiative, years in the making. SWG has a long-term vision and strategy in which Africa 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, General Partner Franziska Kolk, who has built a Cleantech startup in Morocco, and General Partner Petra Wolkenstein, who has run investor readiness trainings on the continent. Other Venture Partners for the Africa program include Chika Nwobi (Nigeria), Adia Sowho (Nigeria, MTN Nigeria CMO), and Ambassador Samuel Amanor (Ghana).
Other selected startups for the second batch of SWG’s Africa fund are Built Financial Technologies, Tunzaa Fintech, Sortika, Naivera, Bunce, Zemo Card, Shipbubble.
Meet the startups:
Built Financial Technologies (Ghana) – A tool for African SMBs to access financial opportunities via a suite of business tools and financial services.
Tunzaa Fintech (Tanzania) – A save now, pay later data-driven marketplace for everyday Africans.
Hisa (Kenya) – An infrastructure for Borderless Investing in Africa.
DT2 Technologies (Nigeria) – A core banking platform for Microfinance Banks and other financial institutions in Nigeria and Africa
Sortika (Kenya) – A financial planning tool that seeks to democratize savings and investments.
Naivera (Kenya) – An online financial marketplace that helps to drive finance towards affordable income-generating assets for wealth creation.
Bunce (Nigeria) – An API for revenue management and optimization tools for African businesses.
Zemo Card (Kenya) – An all-in-one expense management solution for growing businesses in Africa.
ShipBubble (Nigeria) – A platform that connects businesses to multiple shipping providers at discounted prices.
Startup Wise Guys Africa
A team passionate about founders and impact-driven businesses runs the Wise Guys SaaS Africa accelerator program: General Partners Franziska Kolk and Petra Wolkenstein, with the support of Eliud Mungai, Managing Director of the batch, recently joined by Sara Sabry as a Project Manager. They will be supporting these teams through the program, giving them all the preparedness and tools they need to scale and expand to other markets.
We’re happy to continue our mission of supporting these purpose-driven founders in becoming international entrepreneurs and helping 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.
Eliud Mungai, Program Managing Director“Africa presents the most exciting potential for digitalization on the planet. About two-thirds of the predicted growth in global population between 2020 and 2050 will take place here”.
“Startup Wise Guys’ presence in Africa means we see the business opportunity from supporting startups, and we can also see the benefits for Africa. The portfolio startups in our Africa fund will be leveraging digital technology to support the continent’s growing population with fintech, healthtech and retailtech, and catalyze sustainable business growth to provide jobs and prosperity”.