Nigeria-based Fintech firm; Carbon has Tuesday morning announced it has set up a USD$100,000 (approx. UGX366.9 million) Pan-African fund to address the lack of funding and support holding back budding technology entrepreneurs in Africa.
Carbon’s Disrupt fund will invest up to USD$10,000 (approx. UGX36.8 million) per startup as well as giving the access to Carbon’s API allowing investees to leverage Carbon’s growing customer base and innovative technology platform, to get to market faster.
“Our fund will enable this collaboration, allowing these startups 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,” Mr Ngozi Dozie, co-founder of Carbon said in a press statement.
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. It’s not all altruistic, unfortunately!
“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 technology companies can scale faster and build more enduring platforms,” said Carbon CEO; Mr Chijioke Dozie.
In 2019 more than 50% of startup funding in Africa went to fintech firms despite the abundance of opportunities that exist in other sectors.
Carbon’s Disrupt fund has been developed to tackle this head on, making it easier for entrepreneurs across all sectors to access the funds. And support they need to establish their solutions and achieve their business objectives. The fund will also provide mentorship, access to Carbon’s customers and payment platform.
Carbon is accepting applications from companies with operations in Uganda, Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire and Egypt.
Startups looking to apply (LINK 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.
Carbon is a four year old fintech company that has amassed 2.1 million users. The company disbursed more than USD$63.7 million (approx. UGX233.7 billion) in loans in 2019 and processed more than USD$140 million (approx. UGX513.6 billion) in transactions.
In Dec. of 2019, the company announced its expansion into the Kenyan market, as well as its Carbon for Business platform which provides startups, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and Fintechs with access to uncollateralized credit, secure online payments, reliable funds transfer and fast KYC (know your customer) compliance obligations.