Seed investment fund 88mph yesterday announced eight startups that have secured funding from their 2012 accelerator programme, with successful applicants set to share US$200,000 and benefit from mentoring from tech professionals.
The successful startups were chosen from over 400 applicants. The three-month accelerator programme began on September 15 and will run for three months. Startup teams in the programme have access to the 88mph Garage Nairobi working space, 88mph mentor network and coding expertise.
The winning startups include MPepea, an emergency short-term loan application, online fashion swap application Closet 49, M-Pesa rent payment solution Manyatta Rent, an emergency airtime startup and a music voucher application, Mdundo by celebrated musician Frasha of the P-Unit.
“We are very excited with the bunch we have been able to attract,” 88mph founder and investor Kresten Buch told HumanIPO. “We had hoped to invest in more startups, but unfortunately too many of the applications for the programme were single founders and when you invest at this early stage you need to have a team.”
88mph’s programme manager Nikolai Barnwell commented that every startup team matters and the growth of every venture depended on its leadership.
“We are looking forward to three hard working months, hopefully bringing these startups to the next level and securing follow-on funding or making them profitable,” he said.
To help the teams succeed 88mph has brought in six entrepreneurs-in-residence to work with them. “This is one of the most unique opportunities to learn about how business is done in East Africa,” says Alice Wang. “The entrepreneurs are exciting and staking out uncharted ground in the nascent tech space here.”
88mph invests in early stage mobile and Web startups with potential to scale across Africa. 88mph promise to obtain follow-on funding after the programme, in return for between six and 18 percent equity.
Other successful applicants this year included a dating portal, a sports competition firm and Gamsole, a Nigerian firm focused on local content games for mobile phones.
Larry Madowo, anchor at CNBC Africa and a mentor at 88mph, has been impressed.
“I know lots who applied and never made it to this stage,” he said. “These teams show commitment and have the ability to execute their businesses.”
Last year, 88mph injected $180,000 in 7 Kenyan start-ups, Futaa, Tusqee, Ghafla and 6ix Degrees, PesaTalk, Hivi Sasa and Drugs.co.ke. Recently Futaa secured a follow on funding of US$ 300,000 for its Nigerian expansion plans.