KENYA – Three Kenyan firms are among the African startups to receive funding from the inaugural US$2 Million Jua Fund which was launched last year by Zimbabwean entrepreneur and industrialist Adam Molai.
Jua Fund is considered to be the largest African venture capital fund by a private individual.
The Kenyan startups are GrowAgric, a crowd-farming platform that connects farmers to working capital, Side an e-commerce distribution channel and Xetova, a tech procurement solution.
The three firms were picked at a week-long “Kickstarter Olympics”, during which they pitched their ideas to a pannel set up by the fund.
The Jua Fund provides equity to the enterprises, mentorship as well as advisory support, also linking them to other investors.
The fund targeted firms that are scalable across Africa, that address problems facing the continent’s development.
Other startups that will benefit from the fund include Bryt-Knowledge from Zimbabwe, Jirogasy from Madagascar and a Nigerian startup known as Whispa Health.
The final disbursement will be contingent on the enterprises passing due diligence and other agreed terms and conditions.
According to Adam Molai, the traditional venture capital players usually present some challenges for African entrepreneurs as they have laborious requirements which include collateral and tenure, conventional biases that traditional sources of funding have, and have a certain way of doing things that might not suit the African ecosystem not forgetting the red tape – there is often a long duration and processes that have to be adhered to before disbursement.
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