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Orange launches €500,000 Seed Challenge for MEA startups

The initiative will offer tech startups in the Middle East and Africa region the opportunity to access funding

Orange launches €500,000 Seed Challenge for MEA startups

Orange Group has announced a new scheme to help startups in the Middle East and Africa’s tech sector access crucial sources of finance, through its Orange Ventures subsidiary.

The Orange Ventures MEA Seed Challenge aims to give entrepreneurs in Africa and the Middle East the means to launch and develop their business, when they would otherwise face difficulty in securing funding.

Orange Ventures plans to invest a total of €500,000 in the MEA start-up ecosystem as a result of this challenge, with up to seven seed stage start-ups benefitting from an investment of between €50,000 and €150,000.

The Orange Ventures MEA Seed Challenge is open to start-ups in Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Senegal and Tunisia.

“As a major player in supporting the digital ecosystem in our territories, it is important for Orange to provide a financing solution in addition to our training and support activities for entrepreneurs in Africa and the Middle East,” says Alioune Ndiaye, CEO of Orange Africa and the Middle East.

“With the Orange Ventures team we are proud to launch this first initiative which aims to identify, help and promote exceptional entrepreneurs, who have the courage and drive to launch new projects and who, like us, believe in the potential of this continent. This is the first step before strengthening our investment activities in Middle East and Africa, aiming to support the future digital champions throughout their different maturity and growth stages,” adds Jérôme Berger, CEO of Orange Ventures.

The beneficiaries will be announced next September. The top beneficiary will receive an investment of €150,000 as well as three months of support from challenge partner, Seedstars.

Orange Ventures is a benchmark venture capital investor in Africa, present on the continent since 2017. With 50 million euros under management, Orange Ventures MEA has invested in five start-ups, mainly in Series A and B, in Kenya, South Africa, Nigeria and Ethiopia.

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