VC4Africa recently launched new tools that improve the community’s matchmaking capabilities. This is a first for the African space and is part of our constant drive to bring the continent’s best ideas closer to the vital resources they need to grow. Here is an overview of the first ventures to have entered the new fundraising mode. The ventures, their documents and terms, are visible to investors registered on VC4Africa.
Belcash Mobile Banking, Ethiopia – Belcash clients can send money directly to anyone with a mobile phone, if needed a free bank account for the receiver is opened. Ethiopia is one of the most underbanked Sub-Sahara countries, only 5% of 85 million population has a bank account. Belcash provides an ICT platform to banks and coordinates the roll out, with special focus on rural areas. LOI with local banks are signed for implementation. The project is advised by a former CEO of a large Dutch Development Bank and 2 international banks sit in the advisory board.
Rasello, Tanzania – Being a masclusive product (exclusive to the followers and accessible to the mass market), users follow businesses they like and receive updates that help them discover and experience brands. Users get web based and sms broadcasts with the freedom to choose how many times they receive messages per week, based on the quantity of businesses they follow. Businesses can log-in, write/publish broadcasts online and buy broadcast SMS bundles anywhere/anytime.
Penda Health, Kenya –Penda Health is building a chain of outpatient medical clinics focused on women’s health, a comprehensive service that delivers quality at a low price. The company seeks to provide investors a financial return along with the opportunity to solve an urgent social problem. Millions of low and middle income women in Kenya are spending significant financial resources on low-quality healthcare services which is perpetuating low health indicators and keeping women and families in a cycle of poverty.
Ruby Cup, Kenya – Ruby Cup targets girls and women in developing countries that struggle to afford sanitary products. Ruby Cup is a menstrual cup, an alternative menstrual hygiene product, made of medical grade silicone that can be re-used up to 10 years. Ruby Cup will be sold to organisations and distributed through a network of women entrepreneurs in order to create local employment, while fostering an intimate space where women can talk to women about stigmatized issues and enhance education about menstrual hygiene.
Myows, South Africa – Myows.com is a site that makes it easy for creators and owners of original works (or “OW”s) to protect and manage their intellectual property by verifying and authenticating each work via a secure and comprehensive validation process. A Myows account allows users to store and manage all the work in which they have creative rights (copyrights) from one place that’s in the cloud. In addition Myows can help create evidence linking users to their work and their copyrights and can meaningfully assist in cases of online and offline infringement.
Dorking Dairies Expansion, Zimbabwe – A 15 year old milk processing (fresh and cultured milk) business that has grown from 31.000 liters sold in January 2010 to 150.000 sold in February 2011. The business is profitable and now looks to 1) move the factory to an industrial nearby complex 2) develop a vending system that would expand distribution. The vending system creates an opportunity for many micro-entrepeneurs in that they sell the product on the streets everyday from insulted trolleys provided by the company.
M-Kazi, Kenya – m-KAZI is a mass market job search application accessed by mobile phone and online. It allows job seekers to register their details and qualifications via SMS and receive SMS job alerts. Employers can, in turn, target candidates on the m-KAZI database who meet their requirements. There are 25 million mobile phone users in Kenya and m-KAZI can be used by anyone with a basic mobile phone.
For additional reference, search ventures by country, sector and according to social traction gained on VC4Africa. Members of VC4Africa can now also search according to fundraising status.