Kenya’s Purple Elephant Ventures Raises $1m Pre-seed Funding

Story Highlights
  • Purple Elephant Ventures, a venture studio with a focus on the travel and tourism industry, has secured $1 million in pre-seed capital to create the next wave of entrepreneurs that leverage technology to modernize the industry.

The Untours Foundation, a Canadian investment company, Klister Credit Corp., a number of angel investors, including Fede Pirzio-Biroli, the founder of Playfair Capital, Ian McCaig, the former CEO of and a director of M-Kopa, Rich Hoops, the executive director of Impact Capital, Anthony Rock, the president of Rock Impact Capital, Jim Villanueva, the managing director of Global Partnerships Social Venture Fund, and Helena R participated in the funding round.

Digitizing tourism for a greener future, Purple Elephant Ventures was founded by Ben Peterson, Mikul Shah, and Jan Van der Does de Willebois, before the heat of the pandemic in 2020.

Within the pandemic period, the company founded Elephant Bookings, a software as a service (SaaS) product, and Nomad.Africa, a content-to-commerce magazine.

Purple Elephant Ventures wants to enable startups in the tourism sector raise enough capital to facilitate sustainability, as well as have an online presence to aid global scale.

Every year, Purple Elephant Ventures intends to create roughly four firms at the nexus of tourism, climate, and technology.

The crew must be thrilled about all the opportunities to digitize travel for a more environmentally friendly future, in my opinion.

“And one of the best things about working in a studio is that we constantly get to experiment with fresh, original ideas. We hold what we refer to as ideation sessions, where we have very organized discussions about looking at the tourism sector from the viewpoint of developing businesses that will assist lower the carbon footprint of Africa’s tourism industry”, Ben Peterson, CEO

The Covid pandemic caused concern in the travel industry, but the PEV team didn’t slow down and rather launched two startups: Nomad and Elephant Bookings, a SaaS application. A content-to-commerce magazine called Africa.

A B2B product called Elephant Bookings helps hospitality providers get online and boosts their occupancy rates by enabling direct bookings. Nomad.

Shah, who previously founded the restaurant discovery website EatOut Africa, founded Africa at first. For the two firms, the venture studio is actively hiring co-founders and CEOs.

Further investigation, according to Perterson, showed PEV that the African business was vulnerable to disruption, particularly given that it is one of the fastest-growing in the world.


Nichole Manhire

Is the media and brand manager at GFA News. She works very closely with editors and podcasters that contribute to telling the African business success story. For marketing and advertising send Nichole an email:

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