In 2019, a startup, Pariti, launched in Kenya with an impressive model of connecting emerging founders to resources, talent and capital across Africa. The Kenya-based marketplace has today, raised $2.85 million seed funding round.
The community-led marketplace told Techcrunch that it’ll be using the funding to expand its digital infrastructure for startup ecosystems in emerging markets. Looking at Africa’s developing startup ecosystem, emerging founders can leverage all the resources they can get.
The round was led by U.S.-based Harlem Capital, which is making its first investment in Africa after securing $134 million for its second fund earlier this year. Other investors — Better Ventures, Accelerated Ventures, Diverse Angels, AVG Basecamp and New General Market Partners participated.
“We’re thrilled to be working with Harlem Capital. Their focus on data, process and supporting underserved ecosystems aligns perfectly with our mission and makes them an amazing partner for us to build with”, co-founder and CEO Yacob Berhane said of Harlem’s participation.
Pariti was founded by Yacob Berhane and Wossen Ayele. This year, CEO Berhane stated that the firm has increased by 795 percent and attributed this success to the pandemic and how the African tech sector has reached an inflection point, producing a half-dozen unicorns.
“The pandemic was a Black Swan event because we saw a major jump in activity on our platform. Remote staffing and remote investing accelerated tremendously. This was a bet we made a while back but obviously could not anticipate what was coming”, Berhane said.
“And after taking nearly ten years to get Africa’s first unicorn, we had six announced in roughly six months. This led to a significant increase of interest from local and international investors for African startups.
Pariti now has over 880 startups on its platform from 42 countries, up from 500 earlier this year. Berhane disclosed that five startups were accepted into Y Combinator as a result of their use of Pariti. One of these is Kenyan neobank Fingo, which was featured in a previous piece and received a $250,000 pre-seed investment in March.