Pan-African seed fund 88mph has announced it has stopped investing in African startups for two years, saying it will continue to support the startups it has already backed, but will not take on new projects.
88mph today announced it will not provide investment to any further startups, but over the next two years will continue to support the 36 startups the fund has backed to date.
“We will focus on working with the companies we have already funded to get some good return for our investors and founders,” said 88mph founder Kresten Buch.
“So, if you are a startup looking for funding in these markets, then we will unfortunately not be able to help you at the moment.”
Thanking all those who have been involved in 88mph’s work over the past four years, Buch said he is impressed by the extent to which the startup ecosystems across Africa have developed.
“It’s amazing to see how much the environment for starting and growing companies in Africa has developed in this short time. I’m certain we will see even more successful companies emerge over the next few years,” he said.
Launched in Kenya in 2011, 88mph has run yearly accelerator programmes in Kenya and South Africa, providing seed funding to the startups it selected for its programmes.
The 2011 Kenyan pilot programme saw the fund invest US$500,000 in seven startups; followed by a US$1.2 million accelerator held in Kenya the next year, with 12 participating startups. In 2013, the fund launched an incubator in South Africa, investing US$1.2 million in 13 startups.
In 2014, 88mph announced a joint venture with Nigeria’s L5Lab, launching the US$1.5 million 440.ng accelerator in Lagos, with nine startups selected to participate in the 12 week programme.
Disrupt Africa reported in January this year, 88mph announced it would not host a South African accelerator this year, but said it would try a “rejigged” model, involving a one-week programme throughout which a team of investors worked with startups on their businesses, with the potential for investments to be made at the end of the week.