United States (US)-based venture capital firm SOSV has named three African startups – Egypt’s DXwand, Kenya’s MarketForce and Nigeria’s PricePally – among the 10 companies selected to receive approximately US$150,000 in seed funding as part of its cross-border programme.
SOSV provides multi-stage investment to develop and scale big ideas for positive change, investing in 150 companies every year through category-leading startup development programs.
The 10 startups chosen for this cohort are tackling global challenges from food security for Africa to lending solutions for the unbanked, and three of them hail from Africa. They are Egypt’s DXwand, a conversational AI tool to automate and extract insights from conversations in Arabic dialects and English; Kenya’s MarketForce, a mobile-first SME digitisation platform; and Nigeria’s PricePally, a group-buying platform for agricultural products.
Besides the US$150,000 seed funding, each startup benefits from a six-month programme with a specialised salesforce, tech support for growth, and a close-knit cross-border fraternity.
With US$1.1 billion in AUM as of October 2021, SOSV has backed eight African startups so far and plans to invest in 10 more companies on the continent while also building an ecosystem of corporate partners.
“Africa shares a lot of similarities with Asia’s mobile-first markets such as India, Southeast Asia and China, where I have been investing for two decades. The availability of low-cost smartphones, easy access to the internet, and ubiquitous digital payment make these ecosystems fertile grounds for breakthrough internet companies.
We’re excited to bring our cross-border network from Asia to Africa and to help founders here succeed, no matter where they are in the world,” said William Bao Bean, general partner at SOSV.