88mph lands US$300,000 in follow on funding for Futaa.com

88mph, an accelerator program providing early-stage Kenyan tech companies with mentorship and funding, has landed a 300,000 USD investment from Nigerian investors as follow-on backing for one of its leading startups, Futaa.com.

Futaa.com is a top online destination for Kenya’s local football news, and with this funding, it becomes the first of 88mph’s 7-seed investments to secure additional capital, which, according to 88mph’s founder Kresten Buch, will help the startup cross frontiers to more African nations.

“We are very excited that we have been able to get funding in Africa for a mobile tech startup. This shows that our big effort of getting local investors to put money into this sector is paying off,” Buch told HumanIPO.

Buch explained that this is an important milestone for 88mph ahead of their accelerator program scheduled for September 15 as it shows that they can “help the startups secure follow on funding in their operations.”

Commenting on the same, Jesper Helmin, the new CEO of Futaa said: “We have proven the concept in Kenya and we are ready to roll out into other markets by organic growth or partnerships with other local football sites that will lead the expansion of the site.”

“Last week we launched in Nigeria and we are very excited to see if we can get good traction like in Kenya,” Helmin said.

Helmin admits that it will not be easy, but they feel that they have got “a good team in place.”

In November 2011, 88mph had invested US$50,000 in Futaa.com. This has seen the firm expand its staff and garner wider readership.

Speaking to HumanIPO, Futaa.com’s chief editor Patrick Korir said that without 88mph’s initiatives, the company would probably have remained it’s old shell.

“With 88mph on board, Futaa.com came into being. Funding, the biggest and most important facilitation, made it possible to have the resources; from human to the necessary assets to facilitate the flow of news,” Korir said.

Since the first bunch of funding, Futaa.com has grown, in terms of readership, from 135,000 page views to a current average of 1.7 million each month, according to Korir.

88mph provides the perfect landing for entrepreneurs with guts and a sense of adventure, says Kresten, they offer office space, a great local network, market knowledge, cash and, “a one way plane ticket.”

88mph has also invested in other startups including Tusqee, Ghafla and 6ix Degrees, PesaTalk, Hivi Sasa and Drugs.co.ke. The firm is looking to invest over US$200,000 in more startups before the end of this year. The firm last week Monday launched an accelerator program that will start on September 15 targeted at eight to 15 startups.

Startups can apply at 88mph.ac. Applications are currently open and close on August 15.

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