Village Capital is a global venture firm that discovers, develops, and invests in entrepreneurs solving real-world problems. The company, through a three-month investment readiness program organized in partnership with The MasterCard Foundation, the DOEN Foundation and support from Venture Capital for Africa, has invested a total of $100,000 in the winning startups this year.
The program was launched in January to develop the next generation of financial technology entrepreneurs in sub-Saharan Africa. There were over 200 applicants, out of which only seven were selected to take part in the program. All the seven participating startups are focused on improving financial inclusion and livelihoods for low-income population.
In a process called “peer-selected investment,” participating entrepreneurs evaluated each other across nine indicators of investment readiness and directed investment capital to the top two, peer-selected companies. The two companies are Olivine Technology and Piggybank.ng.
Olivine Technology is a Kenyan startup that was founded in January 2010. The company specializes in designing and developing automated data capture tools that integrate with third-party solutions such as Quickbooks.
Piggybank.ng, a Nigerian startup, enables debit card holders to save small amounts of money often with minimal effort. It automates the process of saving tiny amounts daily, weekly or monthly; and then allowing to withdraw for free on only set withdrawal dates.
To date, Village Capital has invested over $300,000 in 11 companies across Africa. Lia Mayka, Village Capital Regional Manager in sub-Saharan Africa, says that the company is committed to helping build a strong entrepreneurial community and ecosystem on the continent.
“Since running our first program in Africa, Village Capital has seen significant growth, both in interest levels and sophistication, of businesses applying for our programs,” he concluded.