Nigerian fintech startup Carbon has announced today that it has set up a $100 000 Disrupt fund to support entrepreneurs on the continent.
Carbon claimed the $100,000 Disrupt fund — which will invest up to $10,000 per startup (for 5 per cent equity) — is the first of its kind by an African fintech startup. The Carbon Disrupt fund is open to a wide array of startups but target sectors include insurance, health, education, which have not seen as much investment in the last decade.
In addition, investees will get access to Carbon’s API, allowing them to leverage Carbon’s growing customer base of around 2.1 million users and innovative technology platform, to get to market faster.
Applications are now open for companies with operations in Uganda, Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire and Egypt. Startups looking to apply for the fund must have a functioning product, post revenue and looking to operate in multiple countries.
According to Ngozi Dozie, co-founder of Carbon, the investing environment for early-stage startups has improved in recent years but a key issue for most startups that has not been addressed is the cost of customer acquisition.
“A lot of money is spent on acquiring customers, mainly via social media, when a more collaborative approach among tech companies could be more efficient,” Dozie said. “Our fund will enable this collaboration, allowing others to market to our customer base and vice versa – a win-win for everyone.”
“There are many excellent companies across the continent looking for the kind of scale Nigeria offers and we are excited to partner with them to provide the support and financial investment they need,”
Ngozi Dozie also pointed out that a lot of money is spent by startups on acquiring customers, mainly via social media, when a more collaborative approach among tech companies could be more efficient.
“Our fund will enable this collaboration, allowing others 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’,” he said.
Since launching in 2016, Carbon claims it has grown to 2.1 million users. The company says it has disbursed more than $63.7-million in loans in 2019 and processed more than $140-million in transactions.
In December last year the company announced that it had expanded to Kenya. It also revealed that it had launched its Carbon for Business platform, which provides startups, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and fintechs with access to uncollateralised credit, secure online payments, reliable funds transfer and fast KYC compliance obligations.
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