Travel site Timbu.com launches $500k fund to invest in early-stage Kenyan Travel/Hospitality startups

    Timbu.com, a Mauritian travel site, has announced plans to invest $25k in 20 Kenyan travel startups. 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 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.

    Making the announcement, the company’s media representative said the need to begin investing in early-stage startups in Kenya was borne out of the need to grow the existing tech ecosystem in Kenya and provide entrepreneurs with the necessary resources to grow the country’s startup scene. She further noted that Timbu looks to provide more than just the seed funding. “Our intentions are to also guide the startups with getting their initial customers, gain traction, as well as provide them with the ‘best talents’, so as to assist the selected startups to gain Series A and B funding”, she said.

    Timbu stated early last year that plans to provide mentorship and coaching to startups in Kenya, and provide an enabling environment for entrepreneurs in Kenya 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 Kenyan 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 “Kenyan Startup Funding Application”.

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

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