A New Way Forward for Venture in Africa

Venture in Africa is often misaligned as a cut-and-paste strategy from traditional venture capital models. That changes now.

Kinyungu Ventures

About Kinyungu

Kinyungu Ventures catalyzes resilient businesses for local intergenerational prosperity, focusing on the fintech/agtech verticals and SaaS (software as a service) businesses of any vertical. Based in Nairobi and Chicago, Kinyungu Ventures strives to do three things well.

  • Context: Provide wisdom in crucial moments
  • Connects: Leverage trusted relationships
  • Capital: Invest in great businesses

We are crazy enough to invest in unconventional and early ventures Friends and family can only get you so far, while VCs and banks see you as too risky. This infamous “missing middle” of investing $50-500k is our sweet spot.

Unicorns are cool, but we love zebras and camels Many great small businesses don’t fit the typical VC or bank profile, but have tremendous unfulfilled potential and are the engine of East Africa’s economy.

We don’t just write checks, we go on the journey with you We’ve been in your shoes. So, we know first hand the value of the right people, the right advice, at the right time. We also love investing across multiple stages.

Learn more about our Chasing Outliers research. Or contact us.

4

Core Both-And Beliefs

1

Trust and Truth The best ideas are not within us, but between us. The most important problems are solved by battle-tested teams. So, we build trust and relationships slowly, and we resolve conflict and tell the truth quickly.

2

Service and Leadership The greatest leaders are servants, equipping everyone around them to surpass them. We serve and lead our partners, entrepreneurs, investors, and communities best through listening, coaching, and being coachable.

3

Purpose-Driven and Profit-Savvy Shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves, we are motivated by solving problems and serving others, while also being wise in business realities. We live in the tension of many both/ands.

4

Pivoting and Persevering The best entrepreneurs learn quickly from the market, adapt accordingly, and pivot courageously. They also know when to keep persevering.

About the Founder

Tony Chen is Co-Founder of Kinyungu Ventures and has a portfolio of 15 Kenyan companies. Tony has enjoyed 25+ years creating new business: 10 years as a corporate intrapreneur, and 15 years launching new companies. He co-founded Redica Systems (formerly Govzilla), a SaaS business he led for 8 years that has subsequently raised multiple rounds of venture capital. Maybe just as important, Tony also previously launched 3 ventures that failed.

Tony is also on the Investment Committee for Triphammer Ventures. His first company, Hospital Impact, was acquired by FierceMarkets in 2009. Tony earned a BS in Chemical Engineering from Cornell University and an MBA from Northwestern Kellogg School of Management. Tony and his family lived in Kenya for three years, when he had 400+ coffees with entrepreneurs and investors.

Toy Chen

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