After raising an undisclosed six-figure investment last year, GetEquity, a digital marketplace connecting founders and investors has now expanded to Kenya.
The startup which was co-founded in 2019 by Jude Dike, William Okafor and Temitope Babatunde seeks to provide a platform for founders to reach out to investors and vice versa. The platform allows companies or enterprises to digitise their assets via tokens, and creates liquidity for them by connecting them to investors and syndicates who can buy and sell these assets.
The Nigerian-based startup claims to be connecting founders with over 6,000 investors. TechCabal reported that before scaling into the East African market, GetEquity helped Herconomy, a Lagos-based fintech startup for women, close a $100,000 pre-seed funding round within 24 hours on its platform.
Funding Gap in Kenya
Funding in Africa hit $4 billion in 2021 from 355 disclosed funding deals- a tiny fraction out of the 13,500 startups listed by VC4A. With over 1,000 startups in Kenya, there just isn’t enough funding to go around every startup.
GetEquity seeks to bridge this gap by democratising funding, enabling investors to fund startups with as little as $10. The startup also allows users to connect to a syndicate fund.
“We are democratizing access to the startup funding space — both for investors seeking to grow their money in companies with a high growth potential, and for startups seeking to raise capital to accelerate business growth,” CEO of GetEquity, Jude Dike, stated. “Our private marketplace is open to individual and institutional investors alike, and we have ensured this accessibility by making sure that one can back startups for even as little as $10.”
And while Kenya holds the potential of a promising economy, the August elections still loom over the landscape, increasing business risks. Kenya is currently running a Kenya Investment Mechanism (KIM), a five-year USAID program that is facilitating $520 million in investment for key sectors of Kenya’s economy, including agriculture, and for regional trade and investment opportunities under the Prosper Africa initiative. The program supports the mobilization of private investment and accelerates enterprise-driven development.
GetEquity’s presence in the ecosystem will play to advantage for Kenya. In 2016, a British Council survey was conducted with 183 social enterprises in Kenya. The results showed that 54% considered lack of access to capital as the biggest barrier to growth.
“Having worked in the African startup ecosystem, we also recognise that these opportunities are not accessible to many new firms — especially those in the pre-seed funding stage,” the CEO explained, adding that lack of access to funding is a key impediment to promising startups.
Expanding into the East African Market
As GetEquity taps into the East African Market, the platform is investing in personnel, research, and knowledge sharing opportunities for founders. These efforts are aimed at “ensuring that even as we help organizations get equity to escalate their growth, they have additional insights to make the best of it,” Dike said.
The company will be kicking off a series of Masterclasses and funding round-tables in Q2 and Q3 2022, as well as market visits across Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Ethiopia, and Tanzania. MyWagePay and Zemo Card have booked the services of GetEquity and look to onboard more partners in the next few months.