Partech Shaker, the innovation division of Paris-based venture capital firm Partech, has launched an acceleration program called Chapter54 to help European startups launch into African markets.
The accelerator will host 10 tech startups per year for the next four years for the Chapter54 program, which will last up to eight months. Application for the inaugural cohort will open next month, and successful startups will begin the acceleration journey in April.
Chapter54 will be financed to the tune of 5.7 million dollars (5 million euros) by the development bank KfW on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
“Investors from all sectors are welcome – but they must have business experience, be registered in one European country and active in two European countries, and have a solid financial base and regular income,” KfW said.
Vincent Previ, the chief executive of Chapter54, told TechCrunch that startups will go through several stages of preparation, including mentorship programs with founders who lead successful businesses across the continent, and with technology or business executives. startup c-suite.
“We have a very good knowledge of the European tech ecosystem because we are one of the most important investors in European tech. We are now a major investor in African technology, and we have the capacity to manage innovative projects through Partech Shaker… From KfW’s perspective, we were a good player to manage this acceleration program,” Previ said.
Chapter54 will match mentors with startups based on their business models, host webinars with different stakeholders, and review startups’ operational roadmaps “to check if what they’ve designed is consistent with the reality on the ground.” .
Previ said that during these sessions, they will “verify that participating companies have the right level of knowledge about what it means to run a technology company in Africa and have what it takes to hire technicians”.
“We’re going to have a session where we’ll compare gig economies in Europe and Africa, and another where we’ll help them do a B2C market sizing in Africa (which is not similar to Europe).”
“If you want to enter Africa, you have to do it properly and in accordance with legal requirements. You need to change the way you work. We will help them reinvent the way they run their businesses (to penetrate African markets). »
Chapter54 targets growth-stage startups with significant traction in the countries they operate in across Europe.
Partech has 15 investments in nine different countries across Africa, including Wave; a US and Senegal-based mobile money service provider, Tugende, a Ugandan mobility technology company, and Trade Depot, a Nigeria- and US-based company that connects consumer goods brands to retailers.
The growth of Africa’s youthful and tech-savvy population, deepening internet penetration, development of digital infrastructure and rapid adoption of modern technologies by its people have made the continent the next frontier of growth. . KfW said it supports Chapter54 to promote growth and create jobs.