Frankfurt (Germany), Tokyo (Japan) and Nairobi (Kenya), April, 2021. GreenTec Capital is excited to report that Amitruck has been selected to join the JICA Ninja Accelerator Africa’s first cohort in Kenya. Amitruck is a Nairobi-based startup that offers a web-based solution for the challenging logistics environment in Kenya. JICA (Japan International Cooperation Fund) coordinates official development assistance for the Japanese government in developing countries.
Amitruck, and four other Kenyan startups were chosen from a pool of 178 pre-series A and above prescreened, startup-applicants for the first cohort. Amitruck developed a digital marketplace that connects logistics clients to transporters in a secure, competitive, and convenient process that cuts out expensive middlemen thus lowering costs and eventually passing that cost savings onto consumers, many who live below the poverty line.
According to Mark Mwangi, Founder and CEO of Amitruck, “Kenya has many talented entrepreneurs and I am extremely fortunate to have been selected among so many great startups and entrepreneurs.”
The NINJA Accelerator in Kenya will offer each of the five startups a customized blend of local, Japanese and international mentoring, expertise, coaching, and investor relations. The first week, starting May 4th, will consist of a bootcamp followed by intensive capacity building, in-business support, and networking events over three months; and a pitch event (Demo Day) is scheduled for July 29, 2021.
500 Startups, a collaborator in this project and an active global early-stage venture capital firm, plans to select ventures from this first cohort and the second planned cohort and bring these ventures to Tokyo in early 2022 to take part in a “Global Road Show” in partnership with Deloitte Tohmatsu Venture Support and Deloitte Tohmatsu Financial Advisory. Following this event, the chosen ventures will be hosted in San Francisco by 500 Startups for a 2-day “Silicon Valley Olympiad” where they will attend networking and social events to meet VC’s, institutional investors, local experts and potential business partners.
According to Keiji Katai, Senior Director – Private Sector Development Group at JICA, the NINJA Accelerator program should change the narrative around investing in Africa. “We hope to demonstrate to Japanese corporates and investors that there is a serious case to be made when engaging with startups in Africa.”
GrowthAfrica, a leading African accelerator and advisory firm, and Double Feathers, a Japanese venture capital firm, are also important contributors to this project.