Baobab Ventures to help African startups scale abroad


African tech startup support company The Baobab Network is launching Baobab Ventures, a new part of its business designed to help the companies in its portfolio scale globally – starting with product launches in the United Kingdom (UK).

The Baobab Network offers tech startups across Sub-Saharan Africa access to global talent, investors and markets, and in the last two years has worked with startups in Nairobi, Lusaka, Kigali and Accra, with consultants from around the world.

Founder Tom Fairburn told Disrupt Africa the concept of Baobab Ventures was simple.

“In instances where we find technologies across Africa that we think could be applicable outside of their local markets, we have put together a dedicated team in London to help the founders market their tech in the UK – and hopefully further afield as well. We are just about to close our second round of funding, a big part of which is focused on this new part of the company,” he said.

“Our focus on technology-enabled businesses means that there are fantastic opportunities to scale products internationally. We are in an exciting position as the technology for these products is already built, which means initial expenditure on development will be minimal.”

The Baobab Network is piloting this new model with two tech products in the first half of this year, having partnered with Kenyan startup Usalama to launch security application Walk With Me in the UK, as well as another Kenyan company – UjuziKilimo – to roll out its soil testing device.

“Baobab Ventures has been set up to offer tech startups across Africa access to global users and markets. Our vision is to open up new revenue streams for founders, driving real value back into their local businesses,” Fairburn said.

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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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