Sahara Ventures to introduce Tanzanian angel investor fund
Tanzanian technology hub, Sahara Ventures, is introducing an angel investor fund to fill the gap in early funding for tech startups in the East African country, with CEO Jumanne Mtambalike stating that this will allow more entrepreneurs to get off the ground and scale-up.
Mtambalike believes angel finance at an early stage is critical to the development of Tanzanian start-ups.
"We require a robust local angel investment ecosystem. And it's something we're looking into,” In an interview with ITWeb Africa, Mtambalike stated, "We are looking to launch our own Angel Investor Network as Sahara Ventures."
Last month, the United Nations Impact funding for Development encouraged Tanzanian angel investors "to provide patient capital to start-ups" in their early phases.
According to the report, angel investors were "critical in driving start-up growth and preparing them for institutional investment" later on.
To this end, Mtambalike said: "As Sahara Ventures, our role is to champion and promote Tanzania's digital and tech start-up economy. We collaborate with development sector partners, public institutions, academic and research institutions."
Sahara Ventures, he said, was currently collaborating with the University of Dar es Salam's College of ICT to conduct a start-up launch pad and start-up school programmes "to encourage innovators and entrepreneurs" to pursue business setups.
"We also seek to influence policies and regulations that support the tech start-up ecosystem in Tanzania and to achieve this we have been collaborating with the Tanzania Startup Association."
Mtambalike believes that more support is needed to develop the entrepreneurship ecosystem and create a platform for new ideas.
According to the CEO of Sahara Ventures, developing business and sustainability models is the most difficulty that Tanzanian start-ups face today. This is where technology hubs and incubators come into play, he says.
Mtambalike stated that "there are many opportunities because Tanzania is one of the fastest growing economies" in East Africa.
As the country's population grows, so does the size of its middle class, which means more customers, and the country's mobile penetration rate is increasing while internet access is good, he noted.
"So we are seeing investors developing interest with this market because we also are starting to see some success story as an as a regional level and a global level."