Orange Ventures has launched the MEA Seed Challenge which aims to give entrepreneurs in Africa and the Middle East the means to launch and develop their business.
The challenge targets seed ventures with high growth potential and predominantly new technologies driven. Entrepreneurs in this region often experience more difficulties in accessing financing due to the low number of active investors, especially for seed investments.
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 $565 000 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 $56 000 and $170 000.
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.
The beneficiaries will be announced in September 2020. The top beneficiary will receive an investment of $170 000 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 $56 million under management, Orange Ventures MEA has invested in five start-ups, mainly in Series A and B, in Kenya, South Africa, Nigeria and Ethiopia.