Innovation-Driven Catalytic Africa Matching Fund Invests $191k Across 3 Ventures

The co-investment fund Catalytic Africa, established in 2019 by the African Business Angels Network (ABAN) and AfriLabs, made three investments totalling EUR174,000 (US$191,000) in startups from Cameroon, DRC and Kenya in June and July.

The partnership between AfriLabs, a pan-African network of technology and innovation centres, and ABAN aims to increase the pool of capital available to promising African growth-stage entrepreneurs, support the startup ecosystem, and increase the visibility of impact to institutional funders.

It created Catalytic, a co-investment fund that will match investments made by registered angel investors with institutional funds. The initiative is supported by Agence Francaise de Developpement (AFD) and the Digital Africa fund, and has to date deployed more than EUR875,000 (US$960,000) in 15 qualified matching grants. Three of those were made in the last two months.

Cameroon-based fintech startup Koree, a card wallet application that addresses Sub-Saharan Francophone Africa’s spare change scarcity, received a EUR20,000 (US$22,000) investment from Cameroon Angel Network, unlocking a 3X matching investment of EUR60,000 (US$66,000) from Catalytic Africa.  

“Koree aims to transform the retail payment and marketing landscape in Sub-Saharan Francophone Africa by offering inclusive solutions for both customers and merchants. The startup addresses the region’s rampant spare change scarcity, which makes cash payments for low-cost items with high-value bills nearly impossible. Simultaneously, we look forward to empowering millions of African consumers through an inventive reward system,” Koree founder Magalie Gauze-Sanga said.

Mosmos is a Kenya-based save-to-buy platform that enables customers to save for items they want to purchase interest-free. The startup also unlocked EUR60,000 (US$66,000) matching funding from Catalytic Africa through an investment from the Nairobi Business Angel Network. Mosmos is also supported by Antler East Africa. 

“At the moment, Mosmos is working alongside amazing businesses like Hotpoint and FoneXpress to help their customers adopt the Save-to-Buy model, and with this funding, we look forward to unlocking this new customer segment for many other great Kenyan businesses,” said Mosmos CEO Masha Chengo.

The third startup that unlocked matching funds from Catalytic Africa this quarter was the DRC-based ITOT Africa, an ed-tech startup based in Lubumbashi that offers training, digital educational tools, and other IT consulting services to corporates, SMEs, NGOs, and entrepreneurs. ITOT Africa received EUR54,000 (US$59,000) in matching funds, supporting an investment made into the startup by DRC Impact Angels. 

“This investment will create an avenue for us to venture into a new market such as Kolwezi, which is the largest mining city in DRC. With this expansion, we will be able to offer training, digital, and coding business services to the local ecosystem, including mining companies and international clients with operations in the city. Moreover, we will now be able to strengthen our core product offering through Okademy,” said Samy Mwamba, co-founder of ITOT Africa.

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