Forty Senegalese startups last November secured a combined total of US$2 million in funding from the country’s government via a financing vehicle designed to boost the local tech scene.
The Délégation de l’Entrepreneuriat Rapide (DER) was formed early last year, with the goal of helping innovative local tech startups overcome constraints such as the lack of strong early support structures, accelerators, and access to early-stage funding.
In November, the DER made its first investments in Senegalese startups, investing a total of US$2 million into 40 businesses. Amounts varied between US$10,000 and US$100,000, and were a combination of equity, debt and convertible note.
Among those receiving equity and convertible note investments were e-health startup Eyone, ad-tech platform Firefly, e-commerce logistics startup Shopmeaway and agri-tech company Bayseddo, all of which secured US$100,000.
There were also similar investments for fintech startup PayAll (US$75,000), e-commerce startups Comparez and Awalebiz, music streaming platform Deedo, and ticketing platform mTick, as well as others that cannot be named at this point.
The DER said the positive results it had seen over the course of its first year had compelled the government to triple the size of the budget dedicated to the digital economy, and also construct an innovation hub.