Kenya’s largest telco Safaricom has allocated US$5 million to its Spark Venture Fund to invest in local tech startups in the country that are strategically aligned with Safaricom’s purpose.
Safaricom created Spark Venture Fund in 2014 to invest and support late-seed, early-growth stage companies with a presence in Kenya, whilst leveraging Safaricom assets to enable the companies to scale.
This was a US$1 million fund that supported the successful development and growth of high potential mobile tech start-ups in Kenya through a combination of investment, business development support and technical assistance leveraging on Safaricom’s unique capabilities, assets and market positioning.
The amount was subsequently fully invested into 6 mobile technology start-ups in Kenya namely Sendy, Lynk, Ajua, Eneza, iProcure and Farmdrive.
This year, Safaricom allocated an additional US$5 million to the fund to invest up to US$500,000 into each selected startup in convertible notes or equity investment. The fund will support startups through a combination of investment, business development support and technical assistance.
The startups will be identified and selected by a fund manager (S&B ventures) and upon completion of due diligence process be presented to the Investment Committee and Board of Trustees for funding consideration.
Spark Venture Fund is looking for startups with solutions in agriculture, education and healthcare; Startups in other categories of strategic importance and being complementary to Safaricom’s purpose will also be considered.
Interested startups need to have Kenyan presence, a core diverse skilled team with a refined working mobile-based product/service. The startup needs to have an active user base currently generating revenues and be willing to sign a partnership with Safaricom.
Interested startups can apply to S&B Ventures at firstname.lastname@example.org.