Six African tech startups have banked funding from Orange Ventures Africa and Middle East after the investment firm announced the results of its MEA Seed Challenge, along with the inauguration of its new seed investment activity to finance 100 startups by 2025.
Launched in June, the Orange Ventures MEA Seed Challenge called for applications from seed-stage tech startups from Cameroon, Egypt, Ivory Coast, Jordan, Morocco, Senegal and Tunisia. Over 500 business projects were submitted, and examined by investment teams and local Orange teams.
The company has now selected seven startups to receive seed funding, with six of those based in Africa. The funding comes in the form of a convertible note, and Orange has invested EUR670,000 (US$795,000) in total. Each startup secures between EUR50,000 (US$56,000) and EUR150,000 (US$168,000).
The selected African startups are Egypt’s 7keema, an e-health platform that enhances the accessibility and quality of nursing services; Morocco’s Chari.ma, a marketplace for local businesses selling everyday goods; Tunisia’s Dabchy, a peer-to-peer secondhand fashion marketplace; Ivory Coast’s Moja Ride, which helps commuters access, book and pay for transportation; Cameroon’s Waspito, which connects the African healthcare ecosystem via an application for telehealth services distribution; and Senegal’s SudPay, a payment solution for ticketing and local taxes.
Also funded is Back Office For Business (BOB), a Jordanian startup that has developed a comprehensive online sale and ordering solution for businesses.
“Congratulations to the seven winners of the challenge, whom I am very happy to welcome to our community as we launch our new seed activity,” said Jérôme Berger, chief executive officer (CEO) of Orange Ventures.
“Their diversity in terms of countries of origin, as well sectors of activity, proves the abundance of promising high quality projects on the continent.”
Orange Ventures is looking to grow its seed investment activity in the region with the launch of Orange Ventures MEA Seed. This initiative integrates into the fund’s existing activity on the continent, and plans to finance 100 startups by 2025, primarily in African and Middle Eastern countries.
“More than elsewhere, restricted access to capital is a major challenge for entrepreneurs in the development of their business in Africa and the Middle East, where investment activity is lower and often concentrated around a few major hubs, whereas the continent is rich with talent and opportunities throughout. Our initiative can contribute to helping these talents thrive and confirms our confidence in the innovation potential of the ecosystems of Orange footprint,” said Berger.
The Orange Ventures MEA Seed funding initiative is open to startups with high-growth potential and new technologies at the core of their business, raising their seed round of financing and operating in one of the 18 countries that Orange operates in the MEA region. Funding applications are open on a permanent basis here.