We’ve been pointed to the existence of a tech focused venture capital firm in Zimbabwe called Matamba Anonaka Technology Holdings (MATHS). The VC is a joint venture between Rutland Consultants of Zimbabwe and Bridge‐Connect, a European based management and technology advisory services company. We were obviously quite pleased to know this, as this is the kind of development Zim’s tech startups need; the possibility of their ideas and skills getting some financial support.
Just how much influence or change MATHS will bring to the industry in terms of funding for telecoms startups and helping build a startup culture in Zimbabwe is of course not known yet. The fact however that business leaders notice there’s a huge gap and therefore huge opportunity for investment is, if nothing else, an indication that a worthwhile venture can get some attention and possibility some funding.
On its investment strategy, MATHS explains it i`s targeting five distinct areas in the Zimbabwe’s telecom sector namely, Mobile Voice and Data Services, Government Project Implementation, Location Based Technology Services, Investing in existing ICT Companies and Greenfield Projects and Telecommunications Infrastructure.
With mobile penetration now around 50% from as low as 9% in 2009, it’s no surprise this is an area of interest for investors. In Zimbabwe, just like it is in other Africa countries, mobile phones are our gateway to the many possibilities connectedness brings. And with low cost Asian mobile phones flooding the country, more low income Zimbabweans can afford to own one.
The MATHS investment portfolio already boasts long time telecoms company, like Celsys and has recently created Matamba Messaging Services, an online bulk massaging service. We’ll find out more about this and post in a future article. Matamba has also invested in a company called ComTainer-Labs, which uses refurbished containers to provide computing and internet services to schools and their communities. The concept is somewhat similar to Computer Aid’s solar powered cyber cafes
The MATHS team spots business and telecoms notables like Patrick Chingoka, Geoffery Goss and Dieter Lange. We will reach out to Matamba Anonaka and hopefully get an interview to post here.
‘Matamba’, by the way is the Shona name of a sweet hard-shell orange-like fruit (here’s a picture) and ‘Anonaka’ loosely means ‘they are tasty/sweet’.