Egyptian hardware startup Interact Labs secures funding commitments from The Nest

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Egyptian startup Interact Labs, which develops solutions that enhance collaboration, has secured funding commitments after taking part in Zoom-based “Shark Tank” equivalent The Nest, which the initiative’s founder Jim Chu estimates could be worth over US$60,000 to the startup.

Disrupt Africa reported last week on the COVID-19 lockdown-inspired The Nest, a Zoom-based digital event where each week three startups pitch to a panel of angel investors, and anyone else that wishes to listen, in a bid to secure funding.

Prior to the latest edition, which took place last Thursday (May 14), the online show had helped African startups secure more than US$135,000 in funding commitments in just three episodes from angel investors such as Vishal Agarwal, Zachariah George, Raj Kulasingam, Sewu-Steve Tavia, Jim Davidson and Piers Clark.

The fourth episode saw another three startups take part, pitching in front of angel investors Laurent Lamothe, Geetha Tharmaratnam, and Kulasingam, with Egyptian startup Interact Labs receiving commitments that Chu estimated to be worth at least US$60,000 from those angels and others listening. 

Interact Labs develops hardware and software products that enhance collaboration, increase engagement and effectiveness through an enhanced user experience and interactivity. 

The other startups taking part were Ivory Coast’s Julaya, which provides small merchants and SMEs with access to digital financial services, and Kenya’s MPost, which creates virtual postal addresses for users. Both received interest from a handful of investors, but no firm commitments. Both, however, secured sizeable funding rounds in December 2019 (see here and here).

During lockdown, The Nest will take place every Thursday. When lockdown restrictions ease, Jim Chu, chief executive officer (CEO) of UNTAPPED and organiser of the initiative, told Disrupt Africa it will occur once a month.

“We’ve seen the potential for this to make so many valuable connections, we are definitely going to keep it going, indefinitely,” he said. 

“I’d like to see The Nest for different regions and specific verticals in the future. We intend to open-source the operating model and brand so that others can take it far beyond what we can do.”

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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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