Orange Digital Ventures launches seed challenge to invest €500k in seven startups[Update]
Seven startups from Africa and the Middle East will be able to land investment of between €50 000 and €150 000 through a new seed challenge launched by Orange Digital Ventures.
Orange Digital Ventures’ Africa & Middle East Seed Challenge is aimed at tech-driven startups with high growth potential and has a pool of €500 000 to invest in startups from Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt, Morocco, Senegal, Tunisia and Jordan.
Startups will also qualify for 12 months of business support from a local mentor.
Investing in and supporting these entrepreneurs is key to the continent’s development and an important issue for Orange, which wishes to increase its co-operation with these innovation players.
Orange Ventures plans to invest a total of €500,000 in the MEA start-up ecosystem as a result of this challenge, with up to seven seed stage start-ups benefitting from an investment of between €50,000 and €150,000.
The Orange Ventures MEA Seed Challenge is open to start-ups in Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Senegal and Tunisia. It targets start-ups at the seed stage, with high growth potential and new technologies at the core of their business. These start-ups will be able to apply from 1 June until 19 July, 2020, here.
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The beneficiaries will be announced next September. The top beneficiary will receive an investment of €150,000 as well as three months of support from challenge partner, Seedstars.
“As a major player in supporting the digital ecosystem in our territories, it is important for Orange to provide a financing solution in addition to our training and support activities for entrepreneurs in Africa and the Middle East,” says Alioune Ndiaye, CEO of Orange Africa and the Middle East.
“With the Orange Ventures team we are proud to launch this first initiative which aims to identify, help and promote exceptional entrepreneurs, who have the courage and drive to launch new projects and who, like us, believe in the potential of this continent. This is the first step before strengthening our investment activities in Middle East and Africa, aiming to support the future digital champions throughout their different maturity and growth stages,” adds Jérôme Berger, CEO of Orange Ventures.
Orange Ventures is a benchmark venture capital investor in Africa, present on the continent since 2017. With 50 million euros under management, Orange Ventures MEA has invested in five start-ups, mainly in Series A and B, in Kenya, South Africa, Nigeria and Ethiopia.
The names of those selected for investment will be announced by September 2020.
Applications close on 19 July (after the previous application deadline of 26 June was extended). To qualify startups must not previously have raised more than €1-million in total equity funding.
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