88mph, an early stage fund and three month accelerator program recently held its Investor Day in Nairobi, Kenya. A successful event that hosted 70 local investors, that were buzzing around the startups looking for their next investment opportunity. 88mph strategy in Africa is to find strong teams and web-mobile startups that can scale across Africa.
“Investor Day was a very interesting day for both the startups and investors. A total of 70 investors arrived at Investor Day with an aim to back a business they believed in the most. What we do understand is that African mobile/web is hands down one of the fastest growing markets in the world and 88mph has reached out to entrepreneurs that build products and services for hundreds of millions mobile/web users that are rapidly popping up on the continent,” states Nikolai Barnwell the program director in Nairobi.
“We wanted to achieve two things with our Investor Day. Firstly, showcase to local angels and investors that there are real investment opportunities in this market and real businesses growing fast in this space. Secondly, secure some funding for our startups. With over 70 investors showing up, and some actually committing pretty much on the spot, the event exceeding our own expectations.”
The startups in the program in Nairobi in 2013 were chosen from more than 400 applications. The 88mph startups have secured investment and some are in conversation with possible investors.
Three startups have confirmed commitments from investors, eight startups presented their business, six pitched for investment and all six are chatting to investors.
- BookNow, an online bus booking platform has commitments
- Mobile music platform Mdundo, a startup from 88mph’s 2012 program, has confirmed commitments from investors
- Movas, an emergency airtime business, has commitments from investors
- Yum Nairobi’s premier online food ordering service is in conversation with investors
- mBet, an online sports betting bookmaker in Uganda
- Tourist Link, a social marketplace which matches travelers with local travel services, is in talks with investors.
Gamsole and Ghafla also showed their progress but neither are currently looking for investments.
Barnwell concludes, “88mph gives startups the initial seed investment thereafter they are put into the three month accelerator program where they are exposed to industry experts , highly experienced local Kenyans and global mentors. Furthermore, ‘Entrepreneurs in Residence’ specializing in sales, design, marketing and programming are being brought from all over the world to work side by side with the local startups during the 3 month accelerations.”
The speed at which the mobile internet has reached the markets of Africa, now at 274 million Africans on Edge and 3G,has created a huge demand for local applications and services catering to the young and growing middle classes of Africa. 88mph is here to fund startups wishing to grab a portion of this growing market. So far we have invested over US$ 2 million in both the programs in Cape Town and Nairobi.