Dutch lender targets Kenyan start-ups with Sh90 million funding

FMO has partnered with AfriTech. [iStockphoto]

Dutch entrepreneurial bank, FMO, has partnered with pan-African tech accelerator, Startupbootcamp (SBC) AfriTech, to run a call for the third Africa Startup Initiative Accelerator Programme designed to scale early-stage tech startups in Africa.

With applications set to open this month, SBC AfriTech is expected to host its "FastTrack" scouting events in more than 10 countries around the continent, including Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Tanzania, and Ethiopia.

"Once selected, participants will spend three months undergoing intensive coaching through expert-led masterclasses covering scaling fundamentals - from the business model canvas and lean methodology to fundraising," said FMO.

"Startups will also have access to SBC's tailored coaching tool, the Accelerator Squared platform, which has a complete library of content, group workshops, one on one mentoring, collaborative sessions with entrepreneurs in residence, and invite-only discussion forums with founders from around the globe."

The 10 startups in the programme will also receive benefits valued at more than Sh90 million ($750,000), including credits from Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Services, and a cash investment of Sh2.2 million ($18,000).

FMO data shows that Africa's vibrant startup ecosystem requires support from multiple fronts to scale.

"The continent is characterised by impressive growth rates and by the end of July 2022, the continent had recorded an estimated 370 deals valued at more than Sh360 billion," said the bank, adding that the partnership with SBC Afritech illustrates FMO's commitment to empowering Africa's tech ecosystem.

FMO Ventures Programme Manager Marieke Roestenberg recently said coming as part of the entrepreneurial ecosystem building efforts, FMO was keen to support Startupbootcamp AfriTech in expanding their operations into more middle-tier markets.

"This partnership provides an opportunity to bring more world-class acceleration to entrepreneurs striving to build businesses that create jobs and better livelihoods for their families and communities," she said.

This comes as FMO data shows that over the last five years, 50 African startups have so far completed the SBC Afritech Accelerator, where collectively, SBC portfolio companies have raised more than Sh13 billion ($110) million in follow-on funding.

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