New Savannah Fund for Sub-Saharan Africa
A new seed fund called Savannah Fund launched last week. It focuses on early-stage web and mobile startups in Sub-Saharan Africa, specifically Kenya and East Africa.
The fund will support startups for Africa’s web and mobile markets, with investments ranging from $25,000 to $500,000. It will also help bridge the gap in early-stage/angel and venture capital in Africa. One of the ways it will accomplish this, is by combining capital with mentor networks in Silicon Valley.
There are 3 components of the plan: a) a $25,000 accelerator program, b) a follow-up fund for successful accelerator graduates, and c) an independent seed fund.
The Savannah Fund has an impressive group of partners:
> Paul Bragiel – Tech entrepreneur and founder of i/o ventures, an early-stage seed and accelerator program in San Francisco.
> Mbwana Alliy – Former project manager at Microsoft Excel & Access, systems engineer for QineticQ, and founder of Tanzania’s first online travel portal and entrepreneur-in-residence for i/o ventures.
> Erik Herman – Founder of Ushahidi, a crisis management crowdsourcing platform, and founder of Nairobi’s iHub.
Investors include: Tim Draper, Dave McClure of 500 Startups, Yelp’s Russ Simmons, Zynga’s Dali Kilani and Roger Dickey, and Karania Macharia of Mobile Planet in Kenya.