Kenyan retail tech startup MarketForce raises $100,000 funding from Harambeans Prosperity Fund
The Harambeans Prosperity Fund, a donor advised investment vehicle formed through the Harambe Entrepreneur Alliance’s network of prominent families and corporations co-invested $100,000 in Y Combinator Harambean venture MarketForce.
The investment was made alongside Harambean-led funds, Launch Africa Ventures and Future Africa, as MarketForce aims to expand their B2B retail marketplace, RejaReja. The product is aimed at manufacturers, retailers and sales agents operating across East Africa’s informal marketplaces.
The fund is a rules-based co-investment vehicle that leverages investment networks to increase capital flow to Harambean-led ventures and has been specifically designed to build coalitions of investors and entrepreneurs bringing scalable and affordable market creating innovations to Africa.
Tesh Mbaabu H’20, Harambean and co-founder of MarketForce said, “We are delighted by this recent investment from the Harambeans Prosperity Fund and partners, which has come shortly after our $2,000,000 pre-Series A funding. It was an honour for me to be inducted into the Alliance’s 2020 cohort last year, and to become part of this dynamic entrepreneurial ecosystem that is driving transformation on the African continent. We are passionate about delivering digital solutions like RejaReja to solve challenges and empower African businesses to prosper, create livelihoods and more effectively provide goods and services that enhance the lives of their consumers.”
Okendo Lewis-Gayle, Chairman of the Harambe Entrepreneurship Alliance said, “We are pleased to be joining forces with Harambean co-investors, Zachariah George H’19, Managing Partner and co-founder from Launch Africa Ventures and Founder and General Partner, Iyinoluwa Aboyeji H’10, from Future Africa to support Tesh Mbaabu and his team as they scale up MarketForce and invigorate informal marketplaces across the East African region. It is encouraging to witness the strong and supportive investment coalitions being formed by Harambeans.”
To date, the fund has co-invested in Harambean-led ventures such as Ugwem Eneyo H’16 from SHYFT Power Solutions, Velani Mboweni H’18 from LULA, Dr William Mapham H’18 from Vula Mobile, Ikenna Nzewi H’17 from Releaf and Adetayo Bamiduro H’15 from Max.ng.
Zachariah George from Launch Africa Ventures said, “As a Pan-African fund investing specifically in B2B and B2B2C early-stage tech products, RejaReja meets our focus on market-creating innovators that transform complex and expensive products and services into those that are accessible and affordable so that many people can own and use them.”
Future Africa’s General Partner Iyinoluwa Aboyeji, who also brings a wealth of African start-up experience said, “We have helped found, fund and build many of Africa’s fastest-growing startups and this gives us unique insight into the art and science of venture building. We have a strong track record of successfully partnering with innovators, such as Tesh Mbaabu, and we are united in building high growth technology businesses that deliver socio-economic transformation in Africa.”