Afrilabs network Sh180 million fund invites techies

Innovators during a past startup meeting. [File, Standard]

Afrilabs and its network of early-stage angel investors are offering over Sh180 million in matching grants for qualifying startups across the continent.

Boasting more than 300 innovation hubs together with more than 1,200 angel investors in more than 34 countries in Africa, Afrilabs and the African business angel network (ABAN) is inviting applications for its inaugural African start-ups matching fund dubbed Catlytic Africa which provides a platform for doubling or tripling early stage investments.

“We want to give  Sh181.1 million (1.5 million euros) in grants as matching funds in angel funding rounds to African tech start-ups in the Afrilabs hubs network,” said Catalytic Africa in a statement.

Focusing on African start-ups with innovative digital solutions and measurable impact, details show the maximum financing from the matching fund is Sh7.2 million (60,000 euros) per transaction. Further, according to the matching ratio details, if the business angel invests an amount less or equal to Sh1.2 million (10,000 euros), then the matching fund will double (2:1) the amount of funding the start-up receives from the angel investors.

“If the business angel invests more than Sh1.2 million, then the matching fund will triple (3:1) the amount of funding the startup receives from the angel investors,” adds the fund’s website.

Not limited to tech start-ups registered in a hub member of the AfriLabs network, innovation hubs, angel networks and angel investors registered in ABAN network are also eligible to apply.

Once qualified, the funds are distributed as follows: with 82.5 per cent of matching funds paid to the qualifying startup, 10 per cent is paid to the hub to provide follow-on support to the startup and report on its progress. In addition, “five per cent is allocated to Catalytic Africa administration; 2.5 per cent is paid to the local Angel Network that the angel investors are members of.”

Launched in mid-last year, Catalytic Africa was established by ABAN and AfriLabs with the purpose to support the African startup ecosystem in the most efficient and meaningful way while delivering real, measurable impact to stakeholders.

“It is a cross stakeholder initiative that aims to strengthen entrepreneurs and startups, hubs, and angel investors while delivering impact results to institutional funders,” adds Catalytic Africa.

The fund is backed by the French Development Agency (AFD) and the Digital Africa Seed Fund. 

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