An investment and incubator firm based off Hong Kong has opened its first Africa office in Nairobi. Nest is looking to invest and work with African startups and entrepreneurs by providing early stage funding, mentorship and incubation. The venture capital firm, which has invested in 49 companies including Onename, Gametime, True Link and Mapkin, will offer startups across Africa access to the firm’s extensive global network.
The Nest in Nairobi, located at co-working space Nairobi Garage, is headed by former Regional Digital Lead at Standard Chartered Bank Aaron Fu who brings experience in financial services and technology across Europe, Asia and Africa.
Fu says Kenya’s vibrant tech community and market opportunities present a unique proposition to connect two continents through Nairobi and Hong Kong.
“Kenya is an exciting frontier market and Nest has the opportunity to be one of the first overseas organizations to make an impact and accelerate the growth of startups in Silicon Savannah. While we are based in Kenya we will be working across Africa to find the best ideas and talent, in particular Lagos, Accra and Cape Town where the startup scene is already flourishing,” said Fu.
Founded by Simon Squibb in 2010, Nest.vc is the only private full-service startup ecosystem offering end-to-end support to startups in the areas of marketing, strategy, funding, incubation, mentoring and access to networks.
According to Squibb, there is a huge opportunity in Africa driven by talented entrepreneurs who can scale businesses across the continent and beyond.
“As part of Nest’s overseas expansion strategy we made the decision to launch in Africa in order to be one the first to offer access to Asia. We already have a presence in London and shortly the US, and will look to bring this extended network to Africa’s entrepreneurs,” said Squibb in a statement.
Nest will also introduce its corporate accelerator programme linking entrepreneurs, innovation and the corporate sector. In Hong Kong, Nest has partnered with international brands including DBS Bank and AIA, Asia’s pre-eminent insurer.