A New Way Forward for Impact Investing
Let's empower 100 companies to impact 1,000,000 lives in East Africa
Kinyungu Ventures is an investment and advisory firm focused on early-stage and small businesses in East Africa. Based in Nairobi and Chicago, Kinyungu Ventures does three things really well.
- Invest in great businesses
- Provide early-stage wisdom
- Build value-added trusted networks
For too long, impact investing in East Africa has largely been a cut-and-paste strategy from traditional venture capital models. That's about to change.
We are crazy enough to invest in earlier-stage ventures Friends and family can only get you so far, while the VCs still see you as too risky. This infamous “missing middle” of investing $20-250k is our sweet spot.
We like unicorns, but we love zebras Many great small businesses don’t fit the typical VC 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 aren’t a typical fund with an end date Structured as an investment holding company, we're here to stay - we establish generational relationships and build an enduring culture.
Trusted Relationships The best ideas are not within us, but between us. The most meaningful problems are solved by epic teams. So, we partner, ideate, and disagree together well.
Generous Stewardship Like having a big pot of stew during a family meal, we are at our core: sharers, not takers. Everything we have has been given to us and meant to be stewarded to bless others.
Servant Leadership The greatest leaders are servants, equipping their people to surpass them. We are learners and listeners, and value people holistically, not just financially.
Enduring Culture We are known by the ecosystem more for our culture than for our funding. As more entrepreneurs join the family, we all mutually benefit, leveraging our collective strengths.
About the Founder
Living three years in Kenya with his family, Tony Chen was given the nickname “Kinyungu” by a Kenyan mama. Now the namesake of the company, Kinyungu is a reminder to generously live out the core beliefs above. He is often seen meeting entrepreneurs one-on-one at Ankole Grille and has invested in seven ventures based in Nairobi.
He is Chairman of FDAzilla, a SaaS company he co-founded and led as CEO for 8 years. 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.