DFS Lab is looking to invest in founders building the future of digital commerce in Africa


We are living in unprecedented times. The coronavirus pandemic has brought on new problems as well as magnified existing ones in Africa. There are individuals and collectives out there working on some of these solutions but it is tough for entrepreneurs to get funding. This is where Digital Financial Services (DFS) Lab comes in. DFS Lab is looking for founders building the future of digital commerce in Africa.

Before we get into it, what is DFS Lab?

DFS Lab is a company that was founded and funded by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The company primarily focuses on fintech startups in Southeast Asia and Sub Saharan Africa. DFS provides grants to startups to nurture the early stages of a business. The end goal is to connect startups with investors who can provide advice and funding as the early stages of the startup’s evolution.

DFS regularly holds mentorship programs. They also have access to services like AWS (Amazon Web Services) and have mobile application support through the Global Accelerator Network (GAN). DFS Lab aims to provide the kind of critical support that startups need which they may not have in emerging markets.


Cohort program

DFS is looking for startups in Africa that cover a number of industries. These categories include fintech payments, fintech credit, fintech aggregators and infrastructure, eCommerce, healthcare, logistics, and agricultural technology.

They are looking for products with at least a compelling minimal viable product (MVP). They are looking to invest US$25 000 and they also take a small portion of equity in the form of advisory shares. DFS sometimes makes exceptions to their standard terms for opportunities that are farther along. They may also add to their investment during pre-seed funding.

After selection, DFS will aid a startup in building a solid foundation as well as introduce teams to their own network of investors. The support program is entirely remote and is designed with virtual communities, toolkits and processes in mind.

Applications are open. To apply for this program click the link here

There was no end date specified on DFS’s website if you are interested, apply as soon as you can.

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Published by
Valentine Muhamba