DFS Lab Accelerator

We invest in digital commerce companies serving African markets.

If you’re a founder building the future of digital commerce in Africa, we want to hear about it.

Founders of pre-seed African startups are invited to apply for the DFS Lab accelerator. We offer funding of up to US$50,000 and additional support to companies building the future of digital commerce in Africa.

Applications are currently open for its next cohort, participants in which will receive an initial US$25,000 in pre-seed funding, with the option for additional investment at a later date. In addition, DFS Lab also provides post-investment support that includes a tailored growth plan for each team, office hours, mentor matching, and cohort-wide meetings.

The program culminates in a virtual demo day, with DFS Lab introducing teams to its own network of investors. The program is entirely remote and is aimed at startups with at least a minimal viable product and considerable user feedback.

Applications are still open but we have started reviewing submissions. Submit your application today.

What geographies do we invest in?

We invest in Africa broadly, but we are focused on geographies where the addressable markets are large enough for high-growth companies to succeed.

What do we invest in?

We invest in digital commerce companies serving African markets. Our portfolio includes mostly fintech, ecommerce, and logistics startups, but if you’re creating businesses that will define the future of commerce on the continent, we’re interested.

What stage do we invest in?

We are oftentimes the first check into a company aside from “family and friends.” Our focus is then helping our portfolio companies raise their pre-seed rounds at which point we may top-up our investment in the most promising companies.

How to apply?

We have an open application process. We also work with an exceptional team of venture scouts who can refer you to our team for consideration.

How far along does your product have to be?

We like to see companies with at least a compelling minimal viable product and considerable user feedback.

What does the process look like after selection?

We select our cohort and invest $25K in each team with an option to up our investment later on. We then help you build a solid foundation for your startup, including a set of shareable materials designed to help validate your team’s vision. We also introduce teams to our own network of investors who are excited to meet and help our cohort companies.

After your pre-seed round, we work with your team for 4-6 months on a growth plan that leads to your next round of financing. Eventually, we serve as frank friends while you continue to participate in our community.

Is your support program in-person or remote?

Our support program is entirely remote and designed with virtual communities, toolkits, and processes in mind. Luckily, we’ve been fully remote since our inception so we’ve had plenty of time to zero-in on what works.


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Targets Africa
Sectors E-commerce, EdTech, Fintech, HealthTech, Logistics