Israel-based startup Fundz has launched a platform focusing on microfunding and guiding startups in emerging markets in Africa and Asia, with startups invited to sign up now ahead of the full launch in the next two months.
Fundz blends a social media platform for a broad community and recurring micropayments to selected startups, with the platform not equity based but rather running on a sponsorship model.
Founder and chief executive officer (CEO) David Mark told Disrupt Africa the startup has soft launched the community aspect and will be going live with the funding part in the next 60 days, with Fundz hoping startups from Africa and Asia will make up the majority of users.
“I spent a summer in Ghana 15 years ago. I noticed an area that if given the right tools could leap into the 21st century. Being in Israel has taught me to not only focus on ourselves, but to take our drive, know how, and vision to other areas of the world. For me this was naturally the emerging markets, most specifically Africa,” he said.
Mark said looking at the broader world of angel investing and equity-based crowdfunding Fundz had noticed that the models do not work for enough entrepreneurs in emerging markets.
“I am a big believer in the lean startup model. Here in Israel we run innovation out of coffee houses and on small budgets. I want to apply that same approach to the emerging markets,” he said.
Fundz was founded as a consultancy for equity-based crowdfunding platforms, with the small team based in Jerusalem working with numerous platforms around the world, including OurCrowd and Healthfundr.
“Fundz gives you the opportunity to get to know innovative teams without having to shell out a lot of money upfront and we believe that is not only very unique, but very helpful to both the startups and their backers,” said Obedih. “There really isn’t anything else like it and I firmly believe it gels well with the cultural and social makeup of the emerging markets.”