WELCOME TO GOSPEL NZEKA'S BLOG: Spark launches $1m fund for Nigerian tech companies

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Spark launches $1m fund for Nigerian tech companies

Jason Njoku and Bastian Gotter
Lagos – Internet entrepreneurs of iROKOtv Jason Njoku and Bastian Gotter, today announced the official launch of SPARK, a $1m-backed company to support and develop aspiring Nigerian tech and Internet entrepreneurs.

The move comes amid significant disruption in the Nigerian Internet scene; fast becoming one of the country’s most prolific and exciting sectors, as many entrepreneurs struggle to make the transition from idea to business due to prohibitive start-up costs, a lack of on-the-ground angel investment opportunities, a lack of access to trusted mentorship and business bureaucracy.

In a statement by Jessica Hope , the organisation’s Head of Communications, said the Lagos-based company is set to start a Nigerian IT revolution as 13 start-ups have been funded with $35-75,000 each , adding that the companies include a hotel room booking site, a Christian dating site and a property-letting site that currently employ 80 people.

“Economic growth is currently 7% per annum in Nigeria. The current value of the Nigerian Internet sector today is estimated at $250m and by 2016 it will be close to $1bn. Nigeria is a seen as a ‘frontier market’ with a population keen to access new consumer items, both in stores and, increasingly, online. However there are few Internet companies that have the backing or ability to supply the ever-increasing demand.”

Managing Partner of SPARK, Jason Njoku said, “In Africa, we’re witnessing an exciting metamorphosis, from a tech ‘scene’ to a tech ‘revolution’, where Lagos is very much the gateway for the entire continent. The creativity, talent, the spirit of entrepreneurship is here but Nigeria’s business eco system isn’t set up to adequately support start-ups in their earliest days. Our intention with SPARK is to act as the catalyst to a period of aggressive and exciting growth in Africa’s Internet sector.”

Bastian Gotter, Managing Partner of SPARK says: “The incubation period for any start-up is critical and we found that this is where Nigeria’s business infrastructure struggles most. SPARK is uniquely positioned to totally change this; we aren’t just an incubator, we aren’t just an investor – we are a company that builds companies. We fund our companies, provide them with the back room assistance they need to get started and advise them on all aspects of their business. SPARK is the financial, intellectual and pragmatic engine that will propel Nigeria’s Internet entrepreneurs from start-ups to dynamic businesses that generate jobs and income for the region.”

SPARK-funded companies, are managed by Jason Njoku, Bastian Gotter and Mary Remmy-Njoku, sharing the same administrative infrastructure, legal teams, mentors and marketing support, making the companies capital, while it is expected that by the close of 2013, SPARK will have created or funded 20 companies in total.

IT start-ups that have been funded in Nigeria include: Hotels.com.ng, Christians.com.ng, Bus.com.ng, Giddimint.com.ng, Borro.com.ng, Insured.com.ng, ToLet.com.ng ,Foto.com.ng, blink.com.ng, Healthy.com.ng and Drinks.com.n

No comments:

Post a Comment