Kenyan startup Tevat is set to launch a site allowing startups to raise money through crowdfunding by connecting them with investors both in Africa and the diaspora.
The startup is one of 37 Kenyan semi-finalists for mobile startups event PIVOT East, which will be held in Nairobi on June 24 and 25, and is waiting to discover whether it has earned the chance to pitch at the event.
The Tevat platform allows individuals to invest as little as KSh1,000 (US$11) in small businesses in return for small amounts of equity, with Tevat charging startups a commission of 9.5 per cent – one per cent when the project goes live on the website and 8.5 per cent if the target amount is raised.
Co-founder and chief executive officer (CEO) Waweru Nderitu told HumanIPO the model gives Kenyan individuals and groups the chance to find and invest in high growth potential startups while giving small companies another avenue to investors.
“Tevat came about from our own frustrations from our previous entrepreneurial ventures. We realised how difficult it was for a startup to not only raise capital, but to get mentors and overcome the dogma in the society which puts more emphasis on white collar employment, especially if you have been through university,” Nderitu said.
“We wanted to change this situation and especially have entrepreneurs get an easy and efficient way to access capital.”
Through leveraging modern technology, Tevat is also looking to allow Kenyans in the diaspora to conveniently invest in startups back home, with funds able to be sent via mobile money for convenience to locals.
“There is great demand out there for investment opportunities. We hope to allow these investors to now invest their money in small businesses, providing capital to the businesses while they build their investment portfolios,” Nderitu said.
“We have redefined the venture capital (VC) model, but we are not in it to compete with venture capital firms, we are hoping to serve a complimentary role. For example if a given company has a strong business model VCs can provide seed capital matching funds for a crowdfunding round, or syndicate an angel investment that is tied to the company successfully executing a crowdfunding round.”
The startups funded on the platform also receive basic business training, IP management and advisory services in areas including tax, legal and accounting.
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