Ventures Platform Fund invests in three African startups as portfolio passes 30

by | May 14, 2020

Abuja-based early-stage venture capital fund, Ventures Platform Fund, has announced its investments in three African startups.

Launched in 2016, Ventures Platform Fund is the venture arm of pan-African innovation hub, Ventures Platform. It has backed startups in the fields of education, healthcare, financial services, agriculture, and big data.

Today, three more startups join the fund’s robust portfolio of over 30 startups. They include Kenyan startup, Tambua Health, and Nigerian startups Funnel Joy and Brass.

Founded in 2017 by Eric Kirima, Lewis Wanjohi and Daniel Gathigai, Tambua Health uses lung sound analysis to transform the diagnosis and treatment of respiratory diseases.

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Its hardware device, T-Sense, generates images of the lungs by detecting the vibrations of sound as air moves in and out of the lungs using sensor arrays put on the back of the patient.

Early this year, the startup got accepted alongside twelve other African startups in Y Combinator’s Winter 2020 batch. In the process, it received $150,000 for a 7% equity.

Why did Ventures Platform choose to invest now? Kayode Oyewole, Partner at Ventures Platform, had this to say.

“While most respiratory diseases have a cure and are manageable, early diagnosis is the most essential for successful treatment.

Unfortunately, medical imaging devices are invasive and expensive making them out of reach for some health care facilities. This is why the acoustic-based lung imaging and lung function test device built by Tambua is in itself revolutionary,” he said.

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For Funnel Joy, it provides an all in one tool designed for digital entrepreneurs and marketers to help them capture, convert and engage leads and sell products online.

Founded by Samuel Okwuada, Funnel Joy is a product of parent company, Kessintech. Early this year, the startup received a pre-seed investment of $100,000 from Ingressive Capital.

Its model which is a “simple drag and drop tool” to create landing pages and sales funnels has secured it another investment, this time from Ventures Platform.

“Today, a lot of digital entrepreneurs rely on sales funnel tools to sell their products online and as more people explore digital commerce for the first time, Funneljoy offers them just the right tool to do that.

Interestingly more than 90% of its customers come from the US and European market and the product has a high retention rate,” Oyewole said.

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Brass, on the other hand, operates business accounts for most small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs).

The startup claims to be a digital bank for SMB 100% online. It provides these SMBs with a suite of product and tools designed to help them grow their business and reduce the friction of doing business.

“Traditional banks have not applied anywhere near the same degree of innovation to SMEs as they have done to consumer retail banking, even if the later still begs for improvement.

While they are great at treasury management, they have massively underinvested in creating tools and services that enable SMBs to succeed, thus creating massive white space for a product like Brass,” Oyewole said.

Tambua Health, Funnel Joy, and Brass now join the likes of Paystack, Reliance HMO, Thrive Agric, Printivo as startups in the fund’s portfolio.

Endlessly amused by technology. @ulonnaya

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