Kenya’s top telecommunications company, Safaricom, has gotten approval from stakeholders to invest funds into Kenya’s robust tech startup ecosystem.
After a recent annual general meeting, reports disclosed that Safaricom was granted the license to push some funds into Kenya’s tech startup ecosystem.
Recall that the telecommunications giant had already established two venture capital firms, as it seeks a bigger share of Kenya’s tech startups, to fuel its growth in the years ahead, as part of its next frontier.
Safaricom’s subsidiaries will focus on seed-stage and growth-stage startups. The seed-stage subsidiary will complement Safaricom’s already existing million-dollar fund, Spark Fund, which launched in 2014 to invest in early-stage start-ups in Kenya.
The second, the growth-stage subsidiary, will invest in well-established start-ups that will be key to accelerating Safaricom’s journey toward becoming a “purpose-led tech company by 2025,” as per the telco’s CEO. The entity will also serve as the primary investment platform for all strategic investments carried out by Safaricom.
In a statement following Safaricom’s approval, the company’s CEO Peter Ndegwa said,
“We are committed to empowering the tech ecosystem in Kenya and beyond, and this strategic move will enable us to broaden our investments, embracing both seed-stage and growth-stage start-ups. Incorporating these subsidiaries is pivotal to realizing Safaricom’s purpose to become a purpose-led technology company.“
Safaricom’s new venture capital firms will have a clear mandate to invest in well-established startups that will be key to accelerating Safaricom’s journey toward becoming a ‘purpose-led tech company by 2025,’ according to the telco’s CEO. Not only that, it will also serve as the primary investment platform for all strategic investments carried out by Safaricom.
By investing in tech startups and initiatives, Safaricom aims to continue transforming lives by connecting people, opportunities, and information, while driving innovation, creating value, and leaving a lasting impact on society.
The telecommunications company has continued to provide significant support to startups in the East African country.
Check Out Some Other Ways Safaricom has Provided Support for Startups in Kenya
- Innovation Hubs and Incubation Programs: Safaricom has partnered with various innovation hubs and incubators in Kenya to support startups. These hubs provide a nurturing environment, mentorship, access to resources, and networking opportunities for startups to thrive.
- Developer Program: Safaricom has developer programs and APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) that allow startups and developers to integrate their services with Safaricom’s products. This provides startups with access to Safaricom’s vast customer base and services, fostering innovation and creating value-added solutions.
- Innovation Challenges and Competitions: Safaricom has organized various innovation challenges and competitions to encourage startups to come up with creative solutions to real-world problems. These challenges often come with cash prizes, mentorship opportunities, and exposure.
- Partnerships and Collaboration: Safaricom collaborates with startups on specific projects and ventures, providing them with access to their extensive resources, expertise, and market reach.
Safaricom has continued to show that it is not just a regular telecommunications company, but a company geared towards enabling innovation and creating value in society.
Notably, the company holds the key to fintech innovation in one of Africa’s most recognized fintech ecosystems, with its fintech startup M-Pesa, doing remarkably well in the East African country and beyond.