THE FUND FUZÉ, A NEW FINANCING MODEL ADAPTED FOR START-UPS IN FRENCH SPEAKING AFRICA
Convinced that digital innovations have a uniquely transformative impact across all sectors of the economy and are a driver of change for the continent, Digital Africa will launch the Fuzé fund in September. This model perfectly addresses the concerns of early-stage African tech start-ups, with a tiered funding solution that is conditional on the company's progress. This approach focuses on the success of entrepreneurs and aims to create the leverage needed to get through the early stages, which are otherwise difficult to achieve without support.
Thanks to this unique mechanism on the continent, African Tech startups whose needs in the seed phase range between €20,000 and €30,000 can now aspire to find funding from Digital Africa, while seeking capital from other investors.
This program FUZE and more globally the rapprochement between Digital Africa and Proparco allows us to offer a unique continuum of financing solutions for African startups, from ideation to scale-up. Proparco has been supporting the financing of African startups for several years, either directly or through support to the venture capital ecosystem, and Digital Africa is strengthening this offer to provide even greater support to startups at the ideation stage.
Stéphan-Eloise Gras, Chief Executive Officer at Digital Africa: "Seed is one of the most exciting but also the most difficult moments of the entrepreneurial journey in Africa. We are joining forces with Proparco to provide concrete solutions at all stages and in all aspects of a start-up's life. Through technology, African talent can show the world that Made in Africa products and innovations have the potential to become global benchmarks for sustainable growth."
Françoise Lombard, Chief Executive Officer at Proparco: "By joining Proparco, Digital Africa is strengthening AFD Group's commitment to entrepreneurship. Our challenge is to offer entrepreneurs comprehensive support at all stages of their growth. With Digital Africa, we are now able to support entrepreneurs from the start-up phase and throughout their growth. This is a unique offer."
BRIDGE FUND BY DIGITAL AFRICA IS A GREAT SUCCESS
To meet the challenges facing startups today, Digital Africa launched the "Bridge Fund BY Digital Africa" with Proparco, which offers initial financing capacity to "Made In Africa" stratups in the seed phase.
The scheme has been a huge success: 257 applications received from 40 African countries; 11 startups financed for a total of €3.88m in just a few months.
A few examples illustrate Digital Africa's strategy to multiply its initiatives in order to build a virtuous ecosystem and identify future unicorns.
- 6.2 million raised by ANKA, an Ivorian e-commerce start-up dedicated to African designers.
- 31 million in a funding round raised by MAX, a Nigerian sustainable mobility start-up.
- 28 millions raised by Poa Internet, a Kenyan start-up, successfully raising a total of $36 million to date.
Innovation companies, whose growth has been hampered by the impact of the global health crisis, have been able to draw on this five million euro fund, which addresses their financing issues, strengthens their attractiveness and makes their approach more credible.
This first financing capacity with the help of Digital Africa on tickets ranging from €175,000 to €600,000 consolidates the growth of startups able to raise funds to close their development phase and move on to industrialization. By creating a reassuring environment, Digital Africa accelerates the maturity of startups and strengthens the confidence of their African and global investors, to increase the scale of projects.
Stéphan-Eloise Gras, CEO at Digital Africa : “We designed Bridge fund to provide responsiveness to African start-ups’ needs in the time of a global pandemic. But we also saw its utility beyond. Our intuition was that more can be done to address the funding gap, especially with debt mechanisms. There is an opportunity now for Digital Africa and its European partners to scale-up and accelerate innovation “made in Africa”
Françoise Lombard, CEO at Proparco: “More than a year and a half after its launch, the success of the Bridge Fund confirms that it concretely meets the needs of entrepreneurs on the African continent. Thanks to the complementary approach proposed by Digital Africa and Proparco, Bridge Fund is a real tool for accelerating the growth of startups and responding to the increased financing difficulties linked to the COVID-19 crisis. With Digital Africa, we share the same ambition: to be alongside entrepreneurs!”
TRAINING IN DIGITAL SKILLS ACCESSIBLE TO ALL TO IMPROVE THE EMPLOYMENT OF START-UPS IN FRENCH AND ENGLISH-SPEAKING AFRICA
Currently, 280 young people from the continent benefit from training provided via a network of local partners - coding schools and bootcamp present in 11 countries - entirely financed by Digital Africa and its partners, for the professions of data analyst, IT developer and digital marketing.
The 11,000 applications received demonstrate the appetite of all young people for the tech industry. Digital Africa has been fully involved in meeting these expectations and will continue to be involved in meeting the requirements of this new economy, which is a great opportunity for African start-ups.
Stéphan-Eloise Gras, Chief executive at Digital Africa : "Tech Made in Africa is not only about money, it is also and above all about the skills needed to help create new solutions to the problems of citizens on the continent, and elsewhere. Thanks to Talent4Startups, we are showing our ability to listen to the needs of African tech entrepreneurs and to respond to them via a network of partners structured and united around the skills needs of the ecosystem."