Start-Ups Funded by New Safaricom Venture Capital

Start-Ups Funded by New Safaricom Venture Capital

Safaricom will now offer loans for start-ups in its new venture fund, Spark Accelerator. The company’s CEO, Peter Ndegwa, says this is in line with their mission to impact society and the economy at large.

Spark Accelerator Program

The Spark Accelerator program was born out of the Spark Fund. The Spark Fund, launched in 2014, invested in 6 mobile technologies at an average of KSh 23M ($175,000) per startup. An additional $ 5M (KSh559.3M) was added by Safaricom, opening the program to more startups. The amount was increased to KSh 65.9M ($500,000), an amount paid in the form of convertible bonds or shares.

“Leveraging technology to drive meaningful innovation is a strong premise under which the Spark Accelerator program was founded. By supporting and investing in these technology-based startups, we aim to bring about significant social change and economic growth,” Ndegwa said.

In partnership with M-Pesa Africa and Sumimoto Corporation, they have begun with 9 start-ups in its first batch.

The Funded Start-Ups

Start-Ups Funded by New Safaricom Venture Capital
  • Chumz– leverages mobile money to create a community of savers. It is a savings platform that is revolutionizing the savings culture in Africa. Through behavioral psychology techniques, the Chumz App can ease saving and investment experiences for its users.
  • Nobuk– seeks to ease payment, collection, tracking, and management of money for groups, chamas, donations, fundraisers, events, estate collections, rent, weddings, and funerals. It offers seamless, real-time tracking and automated reminders.
  • Chpter– empowers businesses to sell via social platforms
  • Faidi-HR– a cloud payroll and human resources platform that helps businesses focus on their core business by automating manual HR and payroll processes.
  • Churpy- an automating platform that specializes in integrated receivables management. The company offers solutions for account reconciliation, bank transaction harmonization, electronic invoice presentation, and trade finance optimization. It primarily serves the financial service sector. 
  • Twiva– a social commerce platform where businesses market and resell their products and services through social media influencers. It was created out of a need to help businesses gain increased access to digital markets, authentic content packaging, and sales conversion at zero costs.

The only healthcare start-up on the list

  • HealthX- Africa–  is a direct-to-patient healthcare provider that leverages technology to make high-quality primary healthcare and wellness accessible, affordable, convenient, and equal. It uses the power of digital technology to reach every user with quality primary health care services wherever they are, whenever they want, and as often as they need.
  • Vuna Pay– a platform for agricultural cooperatives shortlisted in the future fintech category. Its mission is to empower smallholder farmers in Kenya by partnering with Agricultural Cooperative Societies to provide efficient and transparent produce management solutions. This results in maximum payouts to farmers. By being a leading technology provider for Agricultural Cooperative Societies in Kenya, they directly contribute to the growth and development of the agricultural sector.
  • BlackRhino VR- This is a virtual reality production company specializing in creating cinematic immersive experiences for different companies and organizations, while concurrently creating their own content that is adaptable and relevant to the African market.

“The investment will require a combination of equity and debt. The amount is determined based on the needs analysis per company. We will also use any other form of instrument deemed appropriate,” Safaricom told the newspaper Business Daily.