Investment FAQ

We invest in digital commerce companies serving African markets.

What geographies do you invest in?

We invest in Africa broadly, but we are focused on geographies where the addressable markets are large enough for high-growth companies to succeed.

What do you invest in?

We invest in digital commerce companies serving African markets. Our portfolio includes mostly fintech, ecommerce, and logistics startups, but if you’re creating businesses that will define the future of commerce on the continent, we’re interested.

What stage do you invest in?

We are oftentimes the first check into a company aside from “family and friends.” Our focus is then helping our portfolio companies raise their pre-seed rounds at which point we may top-up our investment in the most promising companies.

How do I apply?

We have an open application process. We also work with an exceptional team of venture scouts who can refer you to our team for consideration.

Applications are currently open for our next cohort.

How far along does our product have to be?

We like to see companies with at least a compelling minimal viable product and considerable user feedback.

What are your check size and terms?

We invest a $25K check into a post-money YC SAFE with a standard valuation cap. We also take a small portion of equity in the form of advisory shares directly as DFS Lab in order to fund our cohort support programs. 

In some instances, we offer exceptions to our standard terms for opportunities that have advanced traction. For our most promising companies, we may also add to our investment during the pre-seed round.

What does the process look like after selection?

We select our cohort and invest $25K in each team with an option to up our investment later on. We then help you build a solid foundation for your startup, including a set of shareable materials designed to help validate your team’s vision. We also introduce teams to our own network of investors who are excited to meet and help our cohort companies.

After your pre-seed round, we work with your team for 4-6 months on a growth plan that leads to your next round of financing. Eventually, we serve as frank friends while you continue to participate in our community.

Is your support program in-person or remote?

Our support program is entirely remote and designed with virtual communities, toolkits, and processes in mind. Luckily, we’ve been fully remote since our inception so we’ve had plenty of time to zero-in on what works.

Do you invest in solo founders?

We do for exceptional founders. We tend to invest in companies with at least two co-founders with complementary skills.

Are you an accelerator? 

Yes, we help teams accelerate their progress in two phases.

Our initial support leading up to pre-seed investment aims to build a solid foundation for each team including expert validation, storytelling, and early investor relationships that culminates in a virtual demo day.

Our post-investment support includes a tailored growth plan for each team, office hours, mentor matching, and cohort-wide meetings.