African tech startups secure funding from Orange Ventures MEA Seed Challenge
Six African tech startups and one Jordanian startup have secured funding from Orange Ventures Africa & Middle East. This came after the announcement of the results of the venture firm's MEA Seed Challenge, along with the inauguration of its new seed investment activity to finance 100 startups by 2025.
Launched in June 2020, the Orange Ventures MEA Seed Challenge called for applications from seed stage tech startups from Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Senegal and Tunisia. Over 500 business projects were submitted and vigorously examined by investment teams and local Orange teams. €670,000 will be invested as a result of this highly competitive selection process, subject to the usual conditions precedent, in the following selected startups:
- 7Keema in Egypt: an e-health platform that enhances the accessibility and quality of nursing services;
- Chari.ma in Morocco: a market place for local businesses selling everyday goods;
- Dabchy in Tunisia: the first peer-to-peer secondhand fashion marketplace in Tunisia;
- Moja Ride in Côte d'Ivoire: a platform for transport operators that helps commuters access, book and pay for all available modes of transportation from a single mobile application;
- Waspito in Cameroon: an e-health platform that connects the African healthcare ecosystem via an application for telehealth services distribution;
- Back Office For Business (BOB) in Jordan: a comprehensive online sale and ordering solution to businesses, merchants and any online shop;
- SudPay in Senegal: a fintech proposing payment solutions for ticketing and local taxes.
Jérôme Berger, Chief Executive Officer, Orange Ventures:“Congratulations to the seven winners of the challenge, whom I am very happy to welcome to our community as we launch our new Seed activity.Their diversity in terms of countries of origin, as well sectors of activity (consumer, e-health, B2B, fintech) proves the abundance of promising high quality projects on the continent. More than elsewhere, restricted access to capital is a major challenge for entrepreneurs in the development of their business in Africa and the Middle East, where investment activity is lower and often concentrated around a few major hubs, whereas the continent is rich with talent and opportunities throughout. Our initiative can contribute to helping these talents thrive and confirms our confidence in the innovation potential of the ecosystems of Orange footprint.”
Orange Ventures is looking to grow its seed investment activity in the region with the launch of the Orange Ventures MEA Seed. This initiative integrates into the fund’s already existing activity on the continent and sets the target to finance 100 startups by 2025 primarily in African and Middle Eastern countries where Orange is present, from the first stages of their development and with ticket sizes of up to €200,000.
Alioune Ndiaye, Chief Executive Officer of Orange Africa and the Middle East: “This initiative, which I am very pleased about, is part of our strategy that is open and supportive of innovation champions everywhere we operate. The support from large corporates is pivotal to these ecosystems: big groups who bring the means to scale and thrive to talented entrepreneurs. Even more so in the current context.”
The Orange Ventures MEA Seed investments is open to startups with high-growth potential and new technologies at the core of their business, raising their seed round of financing and operating in one of its 18 countries that Orange operates in the MEA region. The geographical proximity will foster mentorship and collaboration with business units of the group. Funding applications are now open on a permanent basis and can be submitted here.