The 88mph hub in Nairobi, Kenya
The 440 accelerator programme, a joint venture between African seed investment companies 88mph and L5Lab, has formally launched in Lagos, to invest a minimum of US$1.5 million in mobile and internet startups in Nigeria over two years.
HumanIPO reported last week invites had been sent out to the launch of 440, which took place on Friday, after 88mph, which already runs accelerator programmes in Kenya and South Africa and has to date invested more than US$2 million in African startups, declared its intention to launch operations in Nigeria.
Applications for funding open on May 1, and 440 will make its first investments of between US$10,000 and US$100,000 during August. The joint venture is planning on running its first accelerator programme from September 1.
88mph founder Kresten Buch told HumanIPO expanding to Nigeria was an important step for the fund.
“Nigeria is Africa’s biggest market and with that in the bag 88mph covers what we believe are the three most important markets at this time with regard to mobile services,” he said.
Buch said the experience of L5Lab founder Chika Nwobi was crucial to the new partnership.
“Chika Nwobi is one of the very few African entrepreneurs on the continent that have built and invested successfully in mobile service startups. And he has local experience in Africa’s biggest market,” Buch said.
“So for 88mph we can with Chika offer Africa’s most experienced team when it comes to building and investing in mobile services in Africa.”
Buch said 440 was looking for all types of mobile or web service startups, at any stage, that have the ability to scale well.
88mph’s previous investments include gaming startup Gamsole, music streaming service Mdundo and taxi hailing service Zapacab, while L5Lab was an early investor in jobs service Jobberman, car site Cheki and bus ticketing Oya.