Pariti, a Kenyan community-led marketplace that builds digital infrastructure for emerging market startup ecosystems, has raised $2.85 million in seed funding, the company announced today.
Harlem Capital, based in the United States, led the round. It’s the first deal in Africa for the diversity-focused fund, which just raised $134 million for its second fund. Better Ventures, Accelerated Ventures, Diverse Angels, AVG Basecamp, and New General Market Partners were among the other investors who took part.
Why The Investors Invested
The startup has generated considerable traction since it was founded two years ago. Pariti now has over 880 companies on its platform, spread across 42 countries, up from 500 earlier this year. The company has also risen 795 percent in the last year, according to CEO Berhane, who attributes this success to the pandemic and how the African digital ecosystem has reached an inflection point, minting half a dozen unicorns in the process.
“We’re thrilled to be working with Harlem Capital, Their focus on data, process and supporting underserved ecosystems aligns perfectly with our mission and makes them an amazing partner for us to build with.”
co-founder and CEO Yacob Berhane
Harlem Capital is a black-led venture capital firm based in New York. The VC recently raised a second fund of $134 million to assist 45 largely seed-stage companies led by women and people of color. Harlem Capital aims to continue to focus on a few core sectors with the new fund, according to the founders: e-commerce, enterprise software, fintech, HR tech, property tech, and wellness.
They haven’t done any deals in ed tech or cryptocurrency. A partner at the firm, Jarrid Tingle, said the VC provides seed-stage checks of $1 million to $1.5 million for equity shares aimed at 10% or 12% ownership, which is higher than Harlem Capital’s initial fund’s $750,000 to $850,000 checks, which typically brought ownership of about 8.5 percent.