BY TOM JACKSON
Ugandan solar startup OneLamp secured various funding commitments after taking part in last week’s edition of online pitching show The Nest.
Disrupt Africa reported earlier this month on the COVID-19 lockdown-inspired The Nest, a Zoom-based digital event where each week three startups pitch to a panel of angel investors, and anyone else that wishes to listen, in a bid to secure funding.
A host of startups, most recently Egypt’s Interact Labs, has obtained funding commitments and expression of interest taking part so far, and the fifth episode last Thursday saw another three startups take part. The investor panel was comprised of Enygma Ventures co-founder Sarah Dusek, FBNQuest Funds chief executive officer (CEO) Ijeoma Agboti, and Aequalitas Capital Partners CEO Geetha Tharmaratnam.
Pitched by Derrik Hosea, Uganda’s OneLamp develops and sells solar home systems. Jim Chu, chief executive officer (CEO) of UNTAPPED and organiser of The Nest, confirmed he would invest. Tharmaratnam said she was also interested, while funding commitments were received from the audience as well.
Kenyan emergency response startup Nurse in Hand received a strong expression of interest from Tharmaratnam, and also received offers of additional types of support, while Bangladesh-based Praava Health also received offers of support.
During lockdown, The Nest will take place every Thursday. When lockdown restrictions ease, Chu says it will occur once a month.
“We’ve seen the potential for this to make so many valuable connections, we are definitely going to keep it going, indefinitely,” he said.