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88mph, L5Lab launch joint venture fund ‘440’ for Nigerian tech startups

In an attempt to further boost the West African tech scene, seed fund and accelerator 88mph has recently announced the launch of its latest joint venture startup fund in Lagos, Nigeria.

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The 440 accelerator programme is a joint venture fund between 88mph and the West African-based L5Lab. The latter is responsible for supporting African tech startups such as job vacancy platform Jobberman, online car retailer Cheki , and bus ticketing solution startup Oya.

In partnership with Google for Entrepreneurs, the 88mph seed fund has invested over US$2-million thus far in popular South African startups such as Peach Payments, Wabona and Zapacab as well as Mpepea and Gamesole via its Kenyan programme.

440 will invest a minimum of US$1.5-million in mobile and internet startups in Nigeria over the next two years. In an interview with HumanIPO , founder Kresten Buch says that the accelerator is hoping to tap into Africa’s biggest market.

“Nigeria is Africa’s biggest market and with that in the bag 88mph covers what we believe are the three most important markets at this time with regard to mobile services,” Buch said.

Buch is further noted for saying the experience of L5Lab founder Chika Nwobi is crucial to the new partnership.

Applications for funding open on 1 May, and 440 will make its first investments of between US$10,000 and US$100,000 during August. The joint venture is planning on running its first accelerator programme from September 1.

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