Angani Closes Seed Round with Leading East African Investors to Localize Cloud Services
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 11, 2015

Boston, MA and Nairobi, Kenya – Kenya’s Angani Ltd has closed a seed round of funding led by Invested Development with participation from Africa’s Talking, Savannah Fund, and Africa Angels Network.

Angani is the first fully automated public cloud infrastructure company in the region. For the first time, East African companies are able … read more

As solar falls in price, innovators see opportunities to create off-grid energy solutions for the millions without access to power. Entrepreneurs have identified ways to leverage these technologies to build businesses addressing energy access in emerging markets. This week’s articles take a look into recent developments in the market. Why solar costs will fall another 40% in just two years by Giles Parkinson on Renew Economy The World Energy Future Conference took place in Abu … read more

With cloud technologies becoming more and more popular in both developed and developing markets, it’s important to us at Invested Development to understand both the opportunities and the potential implications that the shift to the cloud will have. Below is a selection of recent articles explaining cloud services and predicting growth and potential change in the market.

How to Make Sense of the Cloud’s Alphabet Soup: What are SaaS, IaaS and PaaS? By Bryan Tamador read more

Access to reliable power and internet connection in Africa is an issue that we are always seeking to solve with investments in new technologies. These new technologies and increased investment in the market are positioning Africa as a leader in growth. The articles below highlight the exciting developments.

Africa marked as fastest growing technology market on IT News Africa

Hemmanth Singh, managing executive of m-Commerce at Vodacom, revealed Africa as the fastest growing technology market … read more

Momentum gathers in Power Africa initiative on BiztechAfrica

Standard Bank Group has renewed its commitment to the Power Africa Initiative, a multi-stakeholder project driven by US President Barack Obama. The Initiative aims to double power access in Africa by accelerating investments in the sector over the next five years.

The six initial partner countries are Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria and Tanzania. Each have set ambitious goals to boost their power generating capacity to enhance … read more

The mobile money industry continues to grow in the developing world, offering financial inclusion to the masses that were previously without access to financial services. Below are a few recent articles highlighting exciting developments in the industry.

Mobile Money Continues to Penetrate Africa by Emmanuel Iruobe on Ventures Africa

According to an industry report by the Global System for Mobile Association (GSMA), the mobile money industry is continuing to expand across more regions in Africa. … read more

As a follow up to our post on Education, Energy, and the Digital Divide in Africa, visit BRCK’s blog to learn how our portfolio company is making education technology work with its last-mile Internet connectivity solution in rural Kenya.

“What does it take to launch an e-learning initiative in remote schools in Kenya?  Last week I packed my bags and drove four hours northwest of Nairobi to Isiolo to find out.  BRCK was invited read more

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 16, 2014

Boston, MA & Nairobi, Kenya – Invested Development, an early stage impact investment fund manager, has invested in iProcure, a technology startup serving the needs of the agricultural ecosystem in Kenya. iProcure provides software to enhance sales and inventory management in rural and peri-urban agriculture markets. As a result, farmers can access high-quality farming inputs and equipment conveniently and affordably.

According to the International Fund for Agricultural Development, the … read more

Remittances and mobile money have played a big role in promoting financial inclusion in emerging markets. Currently it’s a market dominated by big players like Western Union, but more and more often we’re seeing localized startups like Remit in Uganda looking to make financial services even easier and more inclusive.

Safaricom Deal to Allow Diaspora to Send Money to M-Pesa Accounts” by Chris Udemans on HumanIPO

The growth of mobile technology has had … read more

With mobile technology as one of our key investment themes, mobile money has been exemplary in defining the impact that mobile can have on access to finance for both individuals and organizations. Here’s what we read this week on the latest news in mobile money.

Mobile Money Transforms Kenyan Banking Market from Mobile Payments Today

As one of the best examples of successful mobile money adoption, 64% of Kenyans now actively use their mobile phone … read more

Developing countries received over $400 billion in remittances in 2012 according to a World Bank (see our infographic on remittances here). This is a great example of how mobile money has changed the way people send money by making it easier and safer. This week, we read many stories detailing both progress and challenges in the sector. We are always looking for innovative entrepreneurs that piggyback on the success of mobile money to provide … read more

The Safaricom AppWiz Challenge, a collaboration between Safaricom and Invested Development, is seeking judges and mentors. The Challenge was launched in May is designed to help Safaricom identify and nurture talent within the developer community. The participants will undergo training and mentorship throughout the incubation period as the objective of this challenge is to help youth successfully deploy their mobile applications in the market.

We are looking for experts in agriculture, energy, water, transportation, … read more

We are always researching the latest innovations in mobile technology for potential investments for the BSP Fund. Here are some of the stories that caught our attention in mobile technology and mobile money.

How can financial services work best for the poor? by Anna Scott on The Guardian
In order to develop a service that effectively serves a poor population, it is necessary to consider their needs. The product should be designed around the … read more

Editor’s Note: This post is written by Sean Smith. Sean spearheaded and will continue to lead Invested Development’s efforts in supporting the Safaricom App Wiz Challenge.

In early 2012, Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore and other senior executives of Kenya’s largest telecom visited the iHub in Nairobi to answer questions from the innovation community. Most of the back and forth between iHub members and Safaricom executives went as expected (at least if you follow such things):… read more

All eyes are on Kenya this week, as the nation awaits the results of an historic election. As such, this week we’re reporting on the progress we’ve seen in Kenya and across sub-Saharan Africa and how this election is different from the last.

#KenyaDecides – Reflections from a Regional Fellow” by Rachel Gichinga on Acumen Fund Blog
Rachel, an Acumen Fund fellow and Kenyan national, writes from the ground in Nairobi. She, along … read more

This week in the blogosphere, we found several stories that evidence exactly what makes Kenya so unique.

Connected tech communities and competitive advantage: the Kenyan way” by Erik Hersman on White African
Erik Hersman, one of the leaders in the Nairobi technology community, writes on the differences among the major technology hubs in Africa: Kenya, South Africa and Nigeria. Each region is unique in its own way: Nigeria has the most people while … read more

As we introduced in our last post on this topic, Kenya is using several policy tools to stimulate renewable energy development and grow its national energy supply. With rapidly growing demand, the government has clearly identified renewable energy, such as solar, wind, and geothermal, as a reliable and sustainable way to increase energy supply.

Renewable energy production presents the potential for income and employment generation. It also encourages private investment while minimizing environmental harm. … read more

Kenya’s National Energy Policy is designed “to facilitate provision of clean, sustainable, affordable, reliable and secure energy services at least cost while protecting the environment.” The efforts come alongside a critical time for Kenya – economic growth and energy demand are higher than ever. The current supply, although increasing slowly, cannot keep up with demand. In response, the Kenyan government is using three policy tools to facilitate the adoption of renewable energy. The aim is … read more

The startup tech scene in Nairobi continues to impress us with its growth and potential. Big names like Google and Chelsea Clinton are collaborating with key players in the Nairobi technology ecosystem. Continue reading to check out this week’s articles on East Africa’s technology hub.… read more

Catherine, a Kenyan national, is joining us as a fellow in our Nairobi office. She comes to us through the Frontier Market Scout program at the Monterey Institute of International Studies. She is currently pursuing an MS in Environmental Policy at Bard College in New York.

Catherine graduated from Lafayette College with degrees in Economics & Business and Public Policy and a certificate in Financial Policy and Analysis. At Lafayette, she participated in various activities … read more

Last week we looked at the support system for mobile tech innovation; this week, several headlines caught our attention regarding the developing ecosystem of support for clean tech entrepreneurs in emerging markets.… read more

How can mobile money be used to incentivize savings? Mobile money, if executed correctly, can extend financial inclusion to include savings capabilities as well as transfer and payments.  We’re looking at some examples of that this week.… read more

Editor’s Note: This is the third installment of Sean Smith’s series on Rich People, Nerds, and the Kenyan Context. Be sure to catch up on Part 1 and Part 2 if you missed them. 

 

The Nerds

The Rich People are only relevant and useful if there are large numbers of “Nerds” that are hacking away at new technologies and scheming how to launch the next big thing. One of the most remarkable things about … read more