safaricom fund Kenyan startups
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Safaricom Launches $6M Fund to Support Kenyan Tech Startups

safaricom fund Kenyan startups

  • Kenya’s largest Mobile Network Operator (MNO), Safaricom, has disclosed that it will invest a total of US$6 million in Kenyan tech startups in the 2nd edition of its Spark Venture Fund.
  • The current Spark Venture Fund is a bigger beast at US$ 6 million, though Safaricom will spend larger sums as well. Recipients should expect to receive up to US$ 500,000.
  • The startups to benefit from the fund will be identified and chosen by the fund manager, S&B Ventures and submitted to Safaricom’s Investment Committee and the Board of Trustees for funding approval.

Safaricom, Kenya’s largest Mobile Network Operator (MNO), has announced the second edition of its Spark Venture Fund, which will invest a total of US$ 6 million in many innovative Kenyan tech startups.

Safaricom initially launched the Spark Venture Fund back in 2014 to invest and assist late-seed, early growth stage, companies with a footprint in Kenya in the, while leveraging Safaricom assets to allow companies to scale up.

It was a US$1 million fund, which invested a total of US$ 175,000 in six Kenyan startups, namely SendyLynkAjuaEnezaiProcure and FarmDrive, and it has now announced a second fund. But the current Spark Venture Fund is a bigger beast at US$ 6 million, though Safaricom will spend larger sums as well. Recipients should expect to receive up to US$ 500,000 annually, and greater sums on a case-by-case basis, in convertible notes or investment in shares.

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“The new allocation will go a long way in supporting the successful development and growth of high potential tech startups in Kenya. The fund will support startups through a combination of investment, business development support and technical assistance leveraging on Safaricom’s unique capabilities, assets and market positioning,” the company said.

The Spark Venture Fund will focus on companies that align with Safaricom’s long-term corporate vision in education, healthcare and agriculture, though startups in other categories of strategic importance that are complementary to Safaricom’s offering will also be considered.

The startups will be identified and chosen by the fund manager, S&B Ventures and submitted to Safaricom’s Investment Committee and the Board of Trustees for funding approval following completion of a due diligence process. Funds will be disbursed after approval of the project, and Safaricom will select an internal deal team to provide post-investment support.

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