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Nigerian fintech Carbon announced today that it has set up a $100 000 Pan-African fund for budding tech entrepreneurs on the continent.
Carbon claimed in a statement today that its Disrupt fund — which will invest up to $10 000 per startup for a five percent equity stake — is the first of its kind by an African fintech startup.
In return investees will get access to Carbon’s API, allowing them to leverage Carbon’s growing customer base and innovative technology platform, to get to market faster.
The fintech said it has currently opened applications from companies with operations in Uganda, Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire and Egypt.
Carbon’s $100k fund will invest up to $10k per startup for a five percent equity stake
Startups looking to apply for the fund must have a functioning product, post revenue and looking to operate in multiple countries.
The fund has a wide investment mandate but target sectors include insurance, health, education which have not seen as much investment as the fintech space.
“There are many excellent companies across the continent looking for the kind of scale Nigeria offers and we are excited to partner with them to provide the support and financial investment they need,” Carbon CEO and co-founder Chijioke Dozie (pictured above with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, in an earlier photo) said in the statement.
Carbon co-founder Ngozi Dozie pointed out that a lot of money is spent by startups on acquiring customers, mainly via social media, when a more collaborative approach among tech companies could be more efficient.
“Our fund will enable this collaboration, allowing others to market to our customer base and vice versa — a win-win for everyone. As the saying goes, ‘if you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together’,” he said.
Since launching in 2016, Carbon claims it has grown to 2.1 million users. The company says it has disbursed more than $63.7-million in loans in 2019 and processed more than $140-million in transactions.
In December last year the company announced that it had expanded to Kenya. It also revealed that it had launched its Carbon for Business platform, which provides startups, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and fintechs with access to uncollateralised credit, secure online payments, reliable funds transfer and fast KYC compliance obligations.
Featured image, left to right: Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Carbon CEO and co-founder (Chijioke Dozie via Twitter)