Safaricom is looking to push some of its funds into Kenya’s budding ecosystem and its shareholders have given the green light to the move.
Last week, the Kenyan telecoms market leader revealed its plans to enter into the venture capital space by setting up two new subsidiaries, plans that were subject to its shareholders’ approval.
After the company’s recent annual general meeting, it confirmed that its shareholders had approved the plans.
The company has now set up two new entities that will invest in start-ups: one in seed-stage start-ups, and another in growth-stage start-ups.
The seed-stage subsidiary will complement Safaricom’s already existing million-dollar fund, Spark Fund, which launched in 2014 to invest in early-stage start-ups in Kenya.
The second, the growth-stage subsidiary, will invest in well-established start-ups that will be key to accelerating Safaricom’s journey toward becoming a “purpose-led tech company by 2025,” as per the telco’s CEO. The entity will also serve as the primary investment platform for all strategic investments carried out by Safaricom.
In a statement, Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa said, “We are committed to empowering the tech ecosystem in Kenya and beyond, and this strategic move will enable us to broaden our investments, embracing both seed-stage and growth-stage start-ups. Incorporating these subsidiaries is pivotal to realising Safaricom’s purpose to become a purpose-led technology company.”