Three African tech start-ups receive Madica kick-start

Staff Writer
By Staff Writer, ITWeb
Johannesburg, 25 Apr 2024
The Madica team and portfolio companies.
The Madica team and portfolio companies.

Pre-seed investment vehicle Madica has selected three African tech start-ups as its first set of portfolio companies to receive investment funding.

The companies are South Africa’s Newform Foods, Kola Market from Ghana and GoBEBA from Kenya, reveals a statement.

Each start-up received an investment of up to $200 000 (about R3.8 million) and now form part of Madica’s investment programme, which includes 18 months of company-building support tailored to the unique needs of each start-up, according to the statement.

Emmanuel Adegboye, head of Madica, says: “We're excited to announce our first set of investments, which showcase the remarkable talent and innovation in the African tech ecosystem.

“Each one of these start-ups represents the untapped potential of African founders who lack the support they directly need because they are too often perceived as risky by global investors. This year, our goal is to support more of these founders and integrate them into the global start-up ecosystem.

“The glaring imbalance in venture funding in Africa is a big concern, and we want to support founders who are often overlooked by investors. We aim to be a catalyst and inspire other investors to join our goal of broadening the reach of venture capital and founder mentorship.”

Introduced in 2022, Madica is a Pan-African investment programme designed for pre-seed stage start-ups on the continent. It is affiliated with global fintech venture capital firm Flourish Ventures.

As a sector-agnostic investment initiative, Madica aims to tackle key challenges, such as limited access to capital, a scarcity of investors, insufficient mentorship and the lack of structured support necessary for start-ups to resolve critical issues and foster innovation, entrepreneurship and wealth creation across the continent.

It delivers its support through a personalised curriculum, hands-on mentorship, invitations to fully-funded week-long founder immersion trips, executive coaching opportunities and access to a global network of investors for follow-on funding.

The investment vehicle’s first set of portfolio companies was selected from applicants covering Africa that deliver tech-enabled solutions across growing and expanding verticals.

Founded by Marie-Reine Seshie, Ghana’s Kola Market assists SMEs in enhancing sales, optimising inventory and securing financing via a B2B platform.

Newform Foods was founded by Brett Thompson and Tasneem Karodia. The start-up enables food producers and retailers to rapidly develop and scale cultivated meat products at a cost below industry standards.

GoBEBA, co-founded by Lesley Mbogo and Peter Ndiang’ui, offers a direct-to-customer e-commerce platform that streamlines the purchase and delivery of bulky essential utilities.

Seshie comments: “We’re excited to share the news of our collaboration with Madica. It’s a significant moment for us at Kola Market because it goes beyond just funding – it is a strong vote of confidence in our mission to transform the SME landscape in Africa, and Madica’s post-investment support sets us on an accelerated path.”

“We’re excited to be working with Madica as we grow our team, develop our production capabilities and bring cultivated meat to mainstream markets. In terms of purpose, I think this is a great fit and we look forward to continuing this partnership into the future on our journey to scale,” adds Newform Foods co-founder and COO Karodia.

Brenda Wangari, Madica portfolio success lead, notes the selection of the first investments exemplify the entrepreneurial spirit and potential for change.

“At Madica, we're dedicated to providing a foundation for African start-up growth through rigorous programmatic support, mentorship and access to our extensive network. It’s about empowering founders to not only navigate the complexities of their industries but also to thrive and set new benchmarks for success.”