Cape Town-based venture capital firm 4Di Capital has invested in African seed accelerator 88mph, a first for the continent’s accelerator scene.
88mph, which currently runs accelerator programmes in Nairobi and Cape Town and is already partnered with Google for Entrepreneurs, has invested in 24 startups since 2011 and spent more than US$1 million in that time.
As well as investing in 88mph, the 4Di partnership will give the startups access to a wider range of local investors.
Justin Stanford, chief executive of 4Di Capital, said: “88mph is unique in that they provide startups with actual funds, which is very rare in emerging markets and Africa especially.
“We have chosen to back this accelerator as a part of our desire to help foster and develop the nascent early-stage startup ecosystem in South Africa.”
88mph is the first seed accelerator in Africa to be backed by a venture capital firm and according to Kresten Buch, founder of 88mph, the investment is an indication of Africa’s growing technology scene.
Buch said: “The technology space in Africa is picking up and we’re seeing a lot activity and opportunity.
“Investors are watching this and beginning to look outside of developed markets like the United States for growth, because those markets aren’t expected to grow as fast as they have in the past.”
Among the investments made by 88mph in the past seven months include Near A Builder and Peach Payments in Cape Town and Mdundo.com in Nairobi.
Sub-Saharan Africa is forecast to be the world’s third fastest growing region in 2013 and 2014 by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
88mph also receives funding from Hannes van Renburg, chief executive of Fundamo, and Ranjith Cherickel, head of sales and business development, Africa, at Nokia Siemens Networks.