Leapfrog Ventures to invest $190k into Uganda's trio; Xente, Swipe2pay & Francom

Rwanda-based Leapfrog Ventures is set to invest $190,000 into three Ugandan startups according to sources familiar with the matters. The three startups are Xente, Swipe2pay, and Francom.

Takuma Terakuno from Leapfrog Ventures was in Uganda between the months of May and June scouting for deals. He got a couple of pitches from startups at The Innovation Village as well as others from other hubs.

However, information reaching me indicates that he has decided to invest in those three. Xente is taking the bigger chunk with $100,000 while Francom and Swipe2pay will each take $50,000 and $40,000 respectively.

Both Swipe2pay and Xente are fintechs and located at The Innovation Village. While Francom - located in the heart of Kampala - develops enterprise software solutions.

When contacted, both Allan Rwakatungu and Solomon Kitumba of Xente and Swipe2pay declined to comment. Referring me to Takuma Terakubo.

Takuma confirmed that the information was true. “I [have] invested [in] 3 company [sic] in Uganda already,” he wrote. He also confirmed that the said companies and the amounts are the ones I was told.

Though declined to give any further details since the deals were not yet concluded. But promised to give full details once the deals close two weeks from now. September 10, 2018 to be specific.

“But [the] deal is not done yet, so just wait [for a] few week(s) please!” he requested.

Also read: These are the Ugandan startups in Hangzhou participating in Alibaba’s eFounders Initiative

Founded in 2014, by Allan Rwakatungu (CEO) and Francis Nkurunungi (COO), Xente was among the 39 startups that were selected to participate in Alibaba’s eFounders Fellowship. It was represented by Francis in Hangzhou.

The startup also raised an undisclosed amount in angel investment earlier this year and counts Zachariah George, the MD of Startup Bootcamp Africa, among its backer. Xente was among the 12 startups that were awarded by Uganda's ministry of ICT in April this year. It is believed that the startup secured around $50,000 from the ministry.

There’s no doubt that the startup will be looking to use the investment to strengthen its expansion plans after hinting on the desire to do so for a large part of 2018.

On the other hand, Swipe2pay, founded in 2016 by Solomon Kitumba, will probably be looking to use the funds for further product development as well as continue with plans to attain product-market fit.

The startup was among the 12 startups shortlisted for the Visa Everywhere Sub-saharan Africa Initiative earlier in July. (See also: Kenya’s Mookh emerges overall winner of the Visa Everywhere Initiative)

These deals come on the back of Leapfrog Ventures announcing a $50,000 investment it made into BiasharaBot at the beginning of this week.

Once concluded, the deals will bring the total number of deals done by Leapfrog Ventures to 5 in less than 6 months since its inception.

The Rwanda-based fund launched with $4.5 million and would have so far handed out $290,000 - counting the $50,000 it invested in Rwanda’s Exuus. If it continues investing an average of $50,000, then it will invest in at least 80 startups as Takuma pointed out upon inception of the fund.

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