Ekaya.co In BDLive

AFRICAN start-up funder 88mph has enrolled seven new businesses in its 2014 programme.

It helps these businesses with investment, access to business networks and technical infrastructure in exchange for a small equity stake. It has already spent more than $1m on investing and supporting start-ups in Africa. Among its funders is 4Di Capital, an early-stage venture capital fund.

The venture company now has more than 30 companies in its programme — 20 in Kenya and 10 in South Africa — and hopes to add 10 more in the latter.

The company said the start-ups were from different fields within mobile technology and were selected after a three-month programme to vet more than 300 applicants.

Dan Bowyer, programme manager at 88mph, said: “This year we’ve invested in seven businesses from various sectors — pet food to dating, ad networks to cash collection. Right now the teams are working hard to release beta versions of their products to get market feedback.”

Also on the list is Ekaya, developed by Justin R Melville, Ruark Ferreira and Rudolf Vavruch, which matches great landlords with great tenants.

Mr Melville said: “We didn’t really understand what an accelerator was until we started at 88mph … (it) has been like a lightning rod for us. The people, energy and momentum from the programme has been incredible, literally game-changing.”