Carbon, a leading FinTech firm in Africa has introduced Disrupt Fund with a $100,000 grant to enable young technology entrepreneurs in the continent kick-start their innovative inventions without delays.
According to a statement issued by Carbon, it will invest the sum of $10,000 to any startup with five percent equity and provide access to investees on its Application Programming Interface (API) which will allow them utilise Carbon’s technology for market acceleration.
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“Acknowledging that its success is dependent on the growth of the tech ecosystem, Carbon expects the initiative to spark more collaboration and further investment that should drive growth across the ecosystem.
“Carbon is now accepting applications from companies with operations in Uganda, Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, and Egypt. Startups looking to apply for the fund must have a functioning product, post revenue and looking to operate in multiple countries. The fund has a wide investment mandate but target sectors include insurance, health, education which have not seen as much investment as the fintech space,” the company said in a statement on Wednesday.
The diversity of the fund is to enable tech startups in the continent innovating new ideas and solutions in other sectors of Africa’s growing and emerging economies to have unrestricted access to funds to execute their ideas in the tech space.
Chijioke Dozie, co-founder and chief executive officer, Carbon, expressed optimism that the continent’s tech space can advance rapidly if there are more collaborators partnering towards the growth of technology in Africa.
“Common investor wisdom is to stay in your market and dominate. This assumes that you are expanding on your own but we believe that by collaborating and partnering deliberately, Carbon and other tech companies can scale faster and build more enduring platforms.
“There are many excellent companies across the continent looking for the kind of scale Nigeria offers and we are excited to partner with them to provide the support and financial investment they need. We are equally excited to expand beyond Nigeria and Kenya by working with a new generation of innovators across the continent and sharing our experience to tackle common obstacles to growth,” he said.
According to Chijioke, the major obstacle facing startups in the continent is the inability to have access to a ready market.
He, therefore, enjoins tech companies to collaborate in providing markets for startups which will save time and resources for startups in the continent.
“The investing environment for early-stage startups have improved in recent years. However, a key issue for most startups that have not been addressed is the cost of customer acquisition. A lot of money is spent on acquiring customers, mainly via social media, when a more collaborative approach among tech companies could be more efficient.
“Our fund will enable this collaboration, allowing others to market to our customer base and vice versa – a win-win for everyone. As the saying goes, ‘if you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together,” he added.