Microsoft pledges support to five African startups
In an effort to empower the next generation of entrepreneurs and developers in Africa, Microsoft is offering financial support to five of the continent's brightest startups. Under the 4Afrika initiative, the American Goliath will act as both financial backer and entrepreneurial mentor to a fortunate handful of David enterprises.
In October 2013, Microsoft announced the expansion of its Microsoft Ventures partnership into Africa. The expansion is part of the Microsoft 4Afrika Initiative, which prioritises startups in key sectors, including education, healthcare and agriculture. Amrote Abdella, director of 4Afrika Venture Capital noted: "Through the 4Afrika Initiative, we are deeply committed to fostering African innovation and to fuelling Africa's economic growth and competitiveness, and we are very proud to see Microsoft Ventures extend its reach into the African continent."
The five startups, including Africa 118, Gamsole, Kytabu and Save & Buy, were selected on the strength of their uniqueness and scalability, business model and the relevance of the problems they aim to solve. In addition to financial backing, Microsoft will provide the startups with optimised desktops, technical support, unified communications and access to its data platforms solutions. Gamsole CEO Abiola Olaniran was vocal in his praise for Microsoft's initiative, noting that it enables startup enterprises to transform into world-class Goliath companies through fast growth, without losing equity or control.