Ushahidi, BRCK co-founder Rotich joins $50m Africa Technology Ventures

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Juliana Rotich, iHub trustee and co-founder of Kenyan companies Ushahidi and BRCK, has joined Africa Technology Ventures as a venture partner, with the firm raising a US$50 million venture capital firm.

Prior to co-founding Kenyan hardware startup BRCK with Erik Hersman, Rotich also helped to launch open source mapping company Ushahidi. She is also a strategic advisor to the councils of BASF, Microsoft 4Afrika, and Risk Cooperative, as well as a trustee of the iHub.

Africa Technology Ventures is run by managing partners Eline Blaauboer and Mairead Cahill, and is raising investment for a US$50 million venture capital fund, which will invest in startups in East Africa and Nigeria.

“One of the gaps in the technology landscape of East Africa and Nigeria is funding for small and medium enterprises at seed and early growth stage,” Rotich said in a post on her blog.

“As an advisor to startups with a lot of potential and my own angel investing experiences, this gap in financing is one that I would like to tackle and help fill.”

The new fund will be based in Nairobi and Lagos, bringing together a team of experienced international and local tech entrepreneurs, investors and advisors.

“This is an exciting opportunity and one that I am looking forward to learning and growing in,” said Rotich.

She joins a number of Kenyan tech luminaries who have ventured into the investment space over the past few years. Hersman co-founded Savannah Fund, while iHub co-founder Jessica Colaco recently launched Brave Venture Labs. Another Ushahidi co-founder, Ory Okolloh, is at Omidyar Network.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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