Timbu.com to invest half a million dollars in early-stage East African Travel startups

Timbu.com, a Mauritian travel site, has announced plans to invest $25,000 in 20 travel startups in each East African country. The travel agency, focused on African destinations, is currently a market leader in Nigeria and other West African countries and now aims to grow its presence in East Africa by investing in travel startups.

The fund is an angel fund and Timbu will seek equity shares in the businesses that are accepted into the program.

The Timbu funding will be exclusive to innovative startups solving real issues in the hospitality niche, with most of the focus being on startups around the curated travel (one of the fastest-growing segments of the travel industry). However, there are plans to expand into other niches down the line.

The company wants to guide the startups with getting their initial customers, gain traction, as well as provide them with the ‘best talents’, to assist the selected startups to gain Series A and B funding.

Timbu stated early last year that plans to provide mentorship and coaching to startups first in Kenya, Ethiopia and Rwanda, and provide an enabling environment for entrepreneurs in these countries to share their experiences are in the pipeline. With the plan finally in motion, it is projected to encourage other angel investors like Timbu to also put more money into East African startups, thus accelerating the growth of local businesses.

Interested startups are required to submit a document containing the following information:

  1. Company name
  2. Company URL, if any
  3. Name and email of the founder(s)
  4. Role of each founder
  5. What your company is making and the problem it aims to solve in Kenya
  6. Who your competitors are and what gives your company edge over them
  7. How your company intends to make money

All applications should be submitted to funding@timbu.com with the subject line as “{Country} Startup Funding Application” (e.g. Kenyan Startup Funding Application).

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