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Nigeria’s Spark incubator raises 2 million to invest in local startups

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spark-nigeriaOne of the few locally owned and NGO-free incubators on the African continent, Spark, announced last Friday that they have raised $2 million to invest in Nigerian startups. The incubator, which the co-founder – iROKOtv founder Jason Njoku – actually says is more a conglomerate of companies than a traditional companies invests amounts $50,000 and $250,000 in startups which are then “incubated” as part of the Spark companies.

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The $2 million is in addition to an amount of $1 million that the company says it has invested in startups since launch 3 months ago. The new money, according to Njoku in a blog post he did today, is mostly from some “17 largely non-Africans across” in Europe and Asia. Local Nigerian money, he says, is not quite ready for the level of risk in their startups and the valuations tey are investing at.

Some of the startups already incubated by Spark include Hotels.ng, a hotel booking startup; propertypro.ng/, a home rentals classifieds; and Giddimint, a fashion eCommerce startup. You can see a full list on the spark site here.

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Spark is one of a few incubators in Sub-Saharan Africa run purely commercially, free of NGO funding. We think this is quite remarkable and that they demonstrate the real economic opportunities the improved access to mobile and internet technologies has brought to the continent.


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4 thoughts on “Nigeria’s Spark incubator raises 2 million to invest in local startups

  1. Anything Nigerian doesnt inspire confidence in my body system.

    Having worked, trained, lived and socialised with them sometimes at higher levels, it is now my thinking that you sleep with one eye open when around them.

    1. Well Mac 1 in 10 Africans are Nigerian. By a measure of FDI alone the country is soon going to overtake SA as Africa’s biggest economy. I doubt they give a hoot about negative stereotypes like yours. They’ve had their fair share of challenges but please show some darn respect for real entrepreneurs committing real money in a very challenging environment. A country of nearly 200 million people will inevitably have many good and many bad people.

      Spark & co don’t drink from the aid brigade (also known as poison) but choose the tough and necessary route. They build value, create jobs and are fighting hard to clean up the image of 9ja online. These are men in the arena: http://techcrunch.com/2007/10/12/the-man-in-the-arena/

      1. fully agree, one should rather see what they are creating and growing in a country that is evidently secluded from the rest of the universe because of such stereotypes. We know 419s but watch where their GDP will be in 3-5 years. Dangote’s from there, did he gwenja someone all the cash he made?? “Real recognise real” anyway.

        I’m quite interested in their (spark and njoku) games company http://www.KULUYA.com havasikuita zvekutamba.

      2. Call it stereotype or whatever but thus my experience with them. Right now my company has been seating on a job for more than a year because no one wants to go there because of past experiences and its getting worse everyday.

        l have trained people from all over the world and interacted with a lot highest pple in the decision making ladder but Nigerians are a kind.

        Just to give you a taste, we work with big guns involved in Libya, Syria, UK, US, Moza, Angola, lraq, Cameroon, Algeria, Vietnam, Kenya, Uganda, Bulgaria, Austria, SA to name a few.

        Try to find a common factor btwn these countries and you will notice that lm talking of trillions of dollars not that small change bizness you are talking about.

        We used to work in River State the whole compound surrounded and guarded by army, now you cannt even trust the army which is guarding you.

        l talk from experience not hearsay or reading from papers!!

        lf they are trying to sanitize there country and make it a destination for bizness, then everything is being undone by hardcore behaviour the rest of the world know.

        They need to quadtripple there efforts.

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