Hong Kong VC and incubation firm Nest has recently announced its expansion into Africa, connecting local talent with Asian investors abroad.
Founded by Simon Squibb in 2010, Nest is described as Hong Kong’s only private, full service startup ecosystem. The firm has also partnered with major Asian banks such as DBS Bank as well as insurance provider AIA Group Limited.
Located at Kenya’s popular co-working space, Nairobi Garage, Nest Nairobi is headed up by managing partner Aaron Fu who previously worked as regional digital strategy lead for Africa at Standard Chartered Bank.
Fu says in a recent press release that the office in Nairobi will act as a launchpad for Africa. Startups from across the continent will be encouraged to apply for funding and support.
Some of the international companies currently in its portfolio includes the following: Onename, Gametime, LeadGenius, Luxe, MakeLeaps, Mattermark, Mapkin, sendwithus,WorkLife, Beep, True Link, Fedora, Paintzen, Vouch Financial and Navdy.
He notes that while Nest is based in Kenya, it will look to the whole continent for talent, especially Accra, Lagos and Cape Town:
Momentum is already building in Nairobi’s startup and thriving technology community and Nest can add to this by providing startups with access to Asian capital, global mentors and market opportunities and developing the right partnerships between Asian and African entrepreneurs and businesses.
Squibb who’s CEO of Nest says that Nest wants to be one of the first to offer access to Asia. On top of funding opportunities, he notes that the firm provides mentorship, advice, space to develop ideas as well as access to shared legal and accounting experts. He explains:
There is a lot of exciting talent in Africa and there’s a huge opportunity to scale businesses both across the continent and also globally. We can enhance access to financial services and develop effective education and healthcare technologies that reach the bottom of the pyramid and directly impact people’s lives.
By connecting two continents, Fu explains, it’s well placed to help founders internationalise their startups and scale innovations into, across and out of Africa.