Longtime VC4Africa Investor Network member Vincent Kouwenhoven of eVentures Africa Fund says he explicitly looks for investment opportunities outside Africa’s ‘major markets’.
“While many more of todays investors are looking for investment opportunities like Dot Com Zambia in the ‘major markets’, in Nigeria and Kenya, we are the first tech fund investing in this space in Zambia,” says Vincent Kouwenhoven, MD of eVA Fund. “And we believe with this investment, a Zambian tech-entrepreneur can set the example for his country, for the Southern Region of Africa, and one day maybe, for the whole of Africa.”
Lusaka based e-commerce company Dot Com Zambia has secured a USD 500K investment from Kukula Capital and eVentures Africa Fund (eVA Fund). The investment, structured as a combination of debt and equity, will enable Dot Com Zambia to grow its existing e-commerce business and roll out its proprietary digital bus ticketing system across Zambia and begin further piloting across the Southern African region.
With the co-investment, the investors seek to combine Kukula’s local presence and operational expertise with eVA’s experience in building successful technology ventures. Kukula Capital is the leading independent venture finance and private equity firm in Zambia and the only locally domiciled Venture Capital firm in the county. Dot Com Zambia becomes its seventh investment into a Zambian SME since its inception in 2010.
Nyboe Andersen, MD of Kukula Capital, further adds that “Dot Com Zambia is a clear strengthening of Kukula’s portfolio. What excites me about the transaction is that we are investing in a company that has the potential to scale rapidly on the basis of leading technology”. Kukula has ZMW 30 million in assets under management split in two funds investing in growing small and medium-sized Zambian businesses.
eVA Fund has been investing in African technology driven companies nearly six years, with the philosophy that African IT-engineers and tech-entrepreneurs are best suited to deploy technology for African issues. Vincent Kouwenhoven adds: “Dot Com Zambia is led by one of the most inspiring young entrepreneurs we’ve met and the organization fits with eVA’s mandate to build world-class technology platforms for Africa.”
Dot Com Zambia
Dot Com Zambia is an e-commerce company with two subsidiaries: Import Zambia and Book Now Zambia. The first is an e-commerce platform that allows Zambian customers to shop from local and international retailers. The latter, which includes the Bus Tickets Zambia brand, is a technology platform that allows customers to reserve, pay and receive bus tickets electronically.
Book Now Zambia has already signed contracts with some of the major Zambian bus operators. Dot Com Zambia is the fastest growing e-commerce company in Zambia with 18 employees and $741,000 in revenues in 2014.
Dot Com Zambia founder and CEO Mawano Kambeu, who founded the company in 2009, states: “This is the ultimate dream come true for any young entrepreneur. With eVA and Kukula on board, Dot Com Zambia has the expertise and financial muscle that will allow us to enhance our operations and grow faster to create value for our clients and the Zambian economy”.
Vincent Kouwenhoven is one of the speakers at the ABAN Angel Investor Summit at DEMO Africa 2015.