Early stage Venture capital firm, AFZA Capital, has launched its first East African-based fund in Nairobi as it seeks to expand to the wider African market.
The firm is offering from USD 25,000 –up to 250,000 as investments in each early-stage venture it chooses to support. The fund is targeting businesses delivering social impact through disruptive innovation.
Arif Hamid, co-founder and Managing Director at AFZA Capital, said the fund is looking at businesses from incubation to Pre-series A capital in what he said is a complete corporate support system that elevates performance.
The fund will be open to investing in early ventures with both proven operational businesses and ventures still in their concept or pre-investment phase.
“Reflecting its origins and commitment to East Africa, the AFZA Capital Fund will take a more locally involved approach in the way it selects and supports the ventures it invests in,” the firm said.
Hamid said that AFZA Capital is proactively looking to invest in, mentor and help scale women entrepreneurs, women-led ventures and businesses advancing gender equality through innovation.
Although it is dedicated to businesses across diverse sectors, he said the firm has a special preference in healthcare, financial technology, agriculture, and education
“AFZA Capital management team will support the ventures’ day-to-day operations, contributing their expertise in strategy, business development, finance, marketing, risk-management, and other disciplines.
“AFZA Capital’s management will also support the ventures with mentorship, incubation services, access to strategic networks and skills training,” the firm said in a statement.
Mark Zanders, co-Founder at AFZA Capital, said one of the firm’s key priorities is social impact through not only investment but also education, he said the firm is keen to not only generate strong financial returns but to do so by uplifting the lives of millions in a sustainable way.
“It is really not the money but the nurturing.We are dedicated to providing expertise on businesses which are scalable and have impact on the society,” he said during the fund’s launch in Nairobi.
In a dialogue forum with entrepreneurs, the firm’s senior advisor, Mathew Magare said that business seeking to raise funds with the VC firm should be dedicated about their agenda,” “provided you are passionate about the problem, you will be unemotional on problems,” he said.
Edward Omete, special advisor at AFZA Capital said enterprenuers should “invest in getting startup facts right at early stage and report the challenges as much as the success.
Three months after launching operations in Nairobi, the VC firm has already invested in two early-stage businesses harnessing technology to address challenges in the financial and healthcare sectors. The two are web-based Daktari and Popote Pay, healthcare consultation applications.
Source: Carolyne Tanui