Travel site Timbu.com plans to invest $500k in early-stage Southern African Travel startups, including those in Zambia

Timbu.com, a Mauritian travel site, has announced plans to invest $25k in 20 travel startups in each Southern African country. The travel agency, focused on African destinations, is currently a market leader in Nigeria and other West African countries and now aims to grow its presence in South Africa by investing in travel startups.

The Timbu funding will be exclusive to innovative startups solving real issues in the hospitality niche, with most of the focus being on startups around the curated travel (one of the fastest-growing segments of the travel industry). However, there are plans to expand into other niches down the line.

Making the announcement, the company’s media representative said the need to begin investing in early-stage startups in South Africa was borne out of the need to grow the existing tech ecosystem in these countries and provide entrepreneurs with the necessary resources to grow these countries’ startup scene. She further noted that Timbu looks to provide more than just the seed funding. “Our intentions are to also guide the startups with getting their initial customers, gain traction, as well as provide them with the ‘best talents’, so as to assist the selected startups to gain Series A and B funding”, she said.

In the last quarter of last year, Timbu rolled out plans to provide employment opportunities for unemployed South African youths. Sequel to that move, the acclaimed Travel Agency launches this initiative and projects that it will encourage other angel investors like Timbu to also put more money into Southern African startups, thus accelerating the growth of local businesses.

Interested startups are required to submit a document containing the following information:

Company name
Company URL, if any
Name and email of the founder(s)
Role of each founder
What your company is making and the problem it aims to solve in your country
Who your competitors are and what gives your company edge over them
How your company intends to make money
All applications should be submitted to funding@timbu.com with the subject line as “{Country} Startup Funding Application” (e.g. South Africa Startup Funding Application).

Please note that the fund is an angel fund and Timbu will seek equity shares in the businesses that are accepted into the program.

Source: Timbu