Savannah Fund is a seed capital fund specializing in US$25,000-US$500,000 investments in early stage high growth technology (web and mobile) startups addressing the Sub-Saharan Africa market. Initially focused on Kenya and East Africa, the Fund aims to bridge the gap in early stage/angel and venture capital investment that currently exists in Africa. The Fund expects to achieve this objective by combining capital with mentor networks both in the region and in Silicon Valley via an 1) accelerator program ($25k) and a 2) follow on fund for successful accelerator graduates ($100-200k) and 3) independent seed fund ($100-500k)
The General Partners of Savannah Fund bring a complimentary mix os skillset for deal flow, on the ground due diligence and technical assistance to help startups. Erik Herman is the founder of Ushahidi, a crisis management crowdsourcing platform and the founder of the iHub in Nairobi, the leading workspace in Subsaharan Africa with over 5,000 members. Paul Bragiel is a serial tech entrepreneur and founder of i/o ventures, an early stage seed and accelerator program from San Francisco that has incubated 16 startups with 3 exits. Mbwana Alliy is a Tanzanian who has a blend of experience in both Silicon Valley, UK and Africa, having worked as a product manager at Microsoft for Excel & Access, systems engineer for QinetiQ and a founder of Tanzania’s first online travel portal and as an Entrepreneur in Residence for i/o ventures.
Savannah Fund is building a mentor-driven network, connecting top local & silicon valley entrepreneurs who have built successful African companies to promising startups on the continent and helps address the concern that many startups in Africa do not have the capacity to absorb larger amounts of growth venture capital. Investors inc. Tim Draper, Dave McClure of 500 Startups, Russ Simmons (Yelp), Dali Kilani & Roger Dickey (Zynga), Karanja Macharia (Mobile Planet in Kenya) . Many of the investors will be hands on mentors and expect to spend time with the savannah fund startups.