Japanese firm Partners Kazana to Invest $100mln in Ethiopian Startups 

ADDIS ABABA – Inclusion Japan (ICJ), a Tokyo-based venture capital firm, has partnered with Kazana Fund to invest 100 million USD in Ethiopian startups.

Inclusion Japan has already invested over $3 million in local startups such as Gebeya Inc, a SaaS-enabled pan-African marketplace.

The venture capital firm is now preparing to host a startup competition in partnership with Kazana Fund, calling for the participation of local startups with pitch-ready business ideas.

The event will give the startups the opportunity to become one of the eight teams to receive 100,000-birr prize money.

A winning team will also have a prospect of further investment from Inclusion Japan.

“We are really looking forward to meeting more promising Ethiopian startups through this event,” ICJ’s Director and Co-founder Yasuhiro Yoshizawa said on Wednesday.

The event is part of a $100 million budget investment by ICJ that is planned to go towards the top Ethiopian startups with ideas revolutionizing a wide range of sectors.

Yoshizawa and Nishiguchi, the world-renowned marketer and ICJ fund advisor will be chairing the PITCH Day competition, along with the CEO of Kazana Business Group Addis Alemayehu.

Ahead of the event, Addis said the private sector has a “crucial role” to play in local startups development 

“That fosters an enabling environment for Ethiopia’s demographic dividend, mostly represented by the youth, to build innovative businesses and create much-needed job opportunities,” he added.

Requirements to apply

The two startup investors have not yet disclosed the place and date for the pitch day but said participating teams will be presenting their winning ideas to secure the significant capital funding required to boost their business.

Teams wishing to meet with ICJ and Kazan Fund are required to send a PITCH video no longer than 10 minutes until the 23rd of January 2023 via info@inclusionj.com. 

The PITCH video should include the following elements 1) Problem 2) Solution 3) Business Model 4) Market 5) Competitors, Competitive Advantage 6) Business Plan 7) Team.

Featured Image: Group CEO of Kazana Business Group Addis Alemayehu. (Photo File)

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