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African crowdsourcing startup fund aims to raise $1mn annually

By , Editor, ITWeb Africa
Africa , 05 Sep 2012

African crowdsourcing startup fund aims to raise $1mn annually

A self-proclaimed serial entrepreneur plans to launch a crowdsourcing project that he says could help raise over $1 million annually for technology startups based in Africa.

The project, called www.startupafricafund.com, aims to raise $100,100 from 1001 slots on a monthly basis for the next 5 years.

The project director of the crowdsourcing initiative, Kayode Muyibi, says this could be done through a monthly contribution of a minimum of $100 per slot, with individuals able to pay for more than a slot per month.

Muyibi further says that 1001 slots will be open to interested individuals from August 29, 2012 and will close by November 30, 2012.

If people take to the private fund, Muyibi says the goal would be to seed-fund one to four African based startups per month in the range of $25,000 to $100,000.

He adds that the fund will be managed by a team of trustees and "run out of UK or USA or Mauritius to take advantage of strict financial and investment laws."

At this point, Muyibi says he is currently only collecting data to validate the possibility of carrying out this project and that the crowdsourcing initiative is not collecting money yet.

But he is upbeat about its potential prospects.

"Our goal is to raise, at a minimum, $1,201,200 USD annually from the monthly contributions of the members of the fund," Muyibi has told ITWeb Africa.

However, he says the "money is only half the battle", as contributors will be required to donate their time and expertise to help mentor and advise the startups.

"We believe that majority of our contributors will be Africans in the diaspora coming from various professional backgrounds that can be very beneficial to the startups being funded," he says.

The difficulty in raising seed capital for African startups has been a major motivation for starting the fund, says Muyibi.

He says that the fund also came about as a result of a "a discussion in a private group on Facebook called Silicon Africa."

Startupafricafund.com, though, will not be alone in raising fund for startups in Africa if it goes ahead.

Other fundraising initiatives for African startups include the Savannah Fund - http://www.savannah.vc/ - and even a South African crowdsourcing fund website for entrepreneurs called http://startme.co.za/.

Muyibi says he is particularly aware of the likes of the Savannah Fund, but he makes his intentions clear with his initiative.

"The end goal is to be part of the growth of as many African tech startups as we can," he says.

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