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Global tech giant Microsoft and African startup accelerator 88mph have partnered to officially bring the Microsoft Ventures programme into Nigeria.
Headed by the Microsoft 4Afrika initiative, this move plans to improve startup productivity by providing relevant tools, resources, expertise and routes to market around the world. Last year October, Microsoft expanded its venture partnership programme into Kenya.
“There is a great opportunity to further develop the startup ecosystem in Nigeria and drive innovation,” says Amrote Abdella, Director of Startup Engagement and Partnerships, Microsoft Africa Initiatives.
“By expanding Microsoft Ventures into Nigeria, we hope to reinvent productivity for startups. This means equipping them with the technology that puts their businesses first, by providing affordable devices, cloud-based software and pay-as-you-go models, that enable anytime-anywhere access.”
“While working with Microsoft in Kenya, we found we were very aligned on finding businesses that deliver value to consumers, helping bring them to profitability, and hopefully getting more investors interested in web/mobile businesses,” says Kresten Buch of 88mph.
Earlier this year the Google-backed 88mph and the Nigerian seed fund, L5Lab, created a Joint Venture called 440.ng, to invest in startups in Nigeria.
“It’s still early days here and not a lot of players in this space, so we are thrilled that Microsoft wants to support our efforts here as well,” Buch concluded.
“88mph is a leader in a region where entrepreneurship is thriving and a great source of economic good. The Microsoft Ventures team is proud to be partnering with them in Nigeria and we hope to contribute to the success of 88mph, the startups they support, and the country as a whole,” says Cliff Reeves, Senior Director, Microsoft Ventures.
After being the first African startup receiving an innovation grant from Microsoft 4Afrika, Nigerian gaming company Gamesole is touted as being the most successful Windows developers in the country, having received over 9-million game downloads.