Kukula Capital (“Kukula”), a leading Zambian venture capital investor, and eVentures Africa Fund (“eVA”), a leading Dutch venture capital fund specializing in e-commerce in Africa, are pleased to announce the signing of a transaction with Dot Com Zambia, a growing e-commerce company headquartered in Lusaka, Zambia.
Kukula and eVA have jointly agreed to initially invest $500,000 / ZMK 5 Million in Dot Com Zambia structured as a combination of debt and equity. The investment will enable Dot Com Zambia to grow its existing e-commerce business and roll out its proprietary digital bus ticketing system across Zambia and, with Kukula’s and eVA’s network, begin further piloting across the Southern African region.
eVentures Africa Fund was the first venture capital fund to invest in African technology driven companies nearly six years ago under the philosophy that it is African IT-engineers and tech-entrepreneurs that are best suited to deploy technology for African issues. In a statement from Amsterdam, Vincent Kouwenhoven, MD of eVA Fund says, “ Dot Com Zambia is led by one of the most inspiring young entrepreneurs we’ve met and the organization fits with eVA’s mandate to build world-class technology platforms for Africa.” He further added, “while many more of todays investors are looking for investment opportunities like Dot Com Zambia in the ‘major markets’, in Nigeria and Kenya, we are the first Tech fund investing in this space in Zambia. And we believe with this investment, a Zambian tech-entrepreneur can set the example for his country, for the Southern Region of Africa, and one day maybe, for the whole of Africa.”
Dot Com Zambia is an e-commerce company with two subsidiaries:
1. Import Zambia is an e-commerce platform that allows Zambian customers to shop from local and international retailers.
2. Book Now Zambia, which includes the Bus Tickets Zambia brand, is a technology platform that allows customers to reserve, pay and receive bus tickets electronically.
Book Now Zambia has already signed contracts with some of the major Zambian bus operators who will use the technology to sell their tickets in a way that is both faster and smarter in addition to optimizing their operations.
Dot Com Zambia is the fastest growing e-commerce company in Zambia with 18 employees and $741,000 in revenues in 2014. The company has been praised as a leading African technology company and, more recently, Harvard Business School named Dot Com Zambia’s bus ticketing system as Africa’s Best New Venture for 2015.
Speaking in Lusaka, Mawano Kambeu, founder and CEO of Dot Com Zambia, states, “This is the ultimate dream come true for any young entrepreneur, With eVA and Kukula on board, Dot Com Zambia has the expertise and financial muscle that will allow us to enhance our operations and grow faster to create value for our clients and the Zambian economy”
Kukula Capital are the only locally domiciled Venture Capital firm in Zambia and Dot Com Zambia becomes its seventh investment into a Zambian SME since its inception in 2010. Tue, Nyboe Andersen, MD of Kukula Capital further adds that “Dot Com Zambia is a clear strengthening of Kukula’s portfolio. What excites me about the transaction is that we are investing in a company that has the potential to scale rapidly on the basis of leading technology”
With the co-investment, the investors seek to combine Kukula’s local presence and operational expertise with eVA’s experience in building successful technology ventures to establish the operating processes and supporting technology that will allow Dot Com Zambia to grow profitably in Zambia and expand to other countries in Southern Africa. Dot Com Zambia’s progress to date shows that there is a growing demand for e-commerce products and services in Zambia and the capital injection will allow the company to accelerate its growth by improving the customer experience in its e-commerce division and roll out the ticketing system to bus operators who seek a more cost- and time-efficient way of issuing tickets and running their operations.
About Dot Com Zambia (www.dczambia.com)
Dot Com Zambia was launched by Mawano Kambeu in 2009. The company started as a personal shopping business for customers in Zambia (businesses and individuals) who wanted to shop online from the USA. Since then, the company has experienced greater-than-anticipated growth, which allowed the company to diversify its operations and expand internationally, starting with the UK. As Dot Com Zambia recently launched a new business line – “Book Now Zambia” – the personal shopping, shipping services and local e-commerce divisions were consolidated in a new business unit “Import Zambia”. Dot Com Zambia’s vision is to become and remain a leading African e-commerce company that, through technology backed solutions, facilitates the transaction of products and services between buyers and sellers.
About Kukula Capital (www.kukulacapital.com)
Kukula Capital is the leading independent venture finance and private equity firm in Zambia. Kukula has ZMW 30 million in assets under management split in two funds investing in growing small and medium-sized Zambian businesses. Being located in Lusaka, Kukula has a strong local understanding and network, which enables the firm to identify companies with attractive long-term growth prospects, securing a strong deal flow. The aim of Kukula is to build a diversified portfolio of investments and provide exceptional financial and social returns for the investors whilst creating long-term value for the portfolio companies.
About eVentures Africa Fund (www.eva-fund.com)
eVentures Africa Fund (eVA Fund) is dedicated to mobilizing capital and experience in the Netherlands/Europe to invest in small and medium sized African internet and mobile related companies. eVA Fund focuses on development in terms of capital and business development support, i.e. knowledge, experience, access to proven business concepts/applications, and network. The target region is sub-Saharan Africa.