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Safaricom Spark Fund is inviting early growth stage and late seed Kenyan tech startups to apply for investment and funding.

The selected startups will receive support in the form of investments, business development support, and technical assistance from the fund seeking to grow strategically aligned tech-enabled startups for either a Safaricom Partnership or acquisition.

“The fund will support startups through a combination of investment, business development support, and technical assistance leveraging on Safaricom’s unique capabilities, assets, and market positioning,” said Safaricom in a statement.

The Safaricom Spark Fund, keen to invest in late seed and early growth stage ventures in education, healthcare, and agriculture, aims to boost by up to S$500,000 and possibly larger amounts on a case-by-case basis into startups that offer local solutions to their communities.

However, the opportunity is open for startups on other categories that complement Safaricom’s offering.

Startups interested in the funding need to have a Kenyan presence, as well as a commercially viable business model. Criteria for the Spark fund also requires startups to have a refined working mobile-based product or service with an active user base.

Interested ventures should be generating revenues and sign a partnership with Safaricom. Eligible startups should be either late seed or early growth stage tech-driven ventures.

The Spark Fund urges applicants to protect their ideas or prototypes before submitting their applications.

Fund Manager S&B Ventures will identify and select successful applicants, and later present shortlisted ventures to Safaricom’s Investment Committee and the Board of Trustees for approval for funding. Safaricom will then appoint an internal deal team to offer post-investment support after disbursing the funds.

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In 2014, the inception of the Spark Fund, Safaricom allocated US$1m to grow startups, leveraging on the company’s unique capabilities, assets, and market position.

The first round of the fund benefitted startups like Sendy, Lynk, Ajua, iProcure, Farmidrive, and Eneza between 2015 and 2017, investing an average of US$175,000 for every startup.

Contact the fund manager through spark@africatechventures.co

Musa Suleiman
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