Orange Ventures has launched the MEA Seed Challenge to fund businesses in the Middle East and Africa which are powered by new technologies.
Orange Ventures plans to invest a total of €500,000 in the MEA start-up ecosystem through the challenge, with up to seven seed-stage start-ups receiving an investment of between €50,000 and €150,000. The challenge is open to start-ups in Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Senegal and Tunisia. It is targeting seed ventures which have high growth potential and are predominantly driven by emerging technology.
Alioune Ndiaye, CEO of Orange Africa and the Middle East, said, “As a major player in supporting the digital ecosystem in our territories, it is important for Orange to provide a financing solution in addition to our training and support activities for entrepreneurs in Africa and the Middle East.”
Orange notes that entrepreneurs in the MEA region often experience more difficulties in accessing financing due to the low number of active investors, especially for seed investments.
Jérôme Berger, CEO of Orange Ventures, commented, “With the Orange Ventures team we are proud to launch this first initiative which aims to identify, help and promote exceptional entrepreneurs, who have the courage and drive to launch new projects and who, like us, believe in the potential of this continent. This is the first step before strengthening our investment activities in the Middle East and Africa, aiming to support the future digital champions throughout their different maturity and growth stages.”
Applications for the MEA Seed Challenge are open until 19 July. Since it launched in 2017, Orange Ventures MEA has invested in five start-ups, mainly in Series A and B, in Kenya, South Africa, Nigeria and Ethiopia. It has €50 million under management.