Backed By Google And eBay’s Founder, Crowd Funding Takes Off In Africa

emerging-market-startups-innovation – M labAfrica is not the first place that comes to mind when thinking about innovative forms of raising capital. Yet Kenya’s m:lab, a technology hub funded by the World Bank specializing in mobile innovation that has become one of the cradles of East Africa’s growing high-tech sector, is doing precisely that, using crowd funding, a form of financing in which entrepreneurs, small businesses, artists and even journalists attract funding from the Internet

M:lab is part of Nairobi’s iHub, an open innovation space used by tech companies and investors and backed by, among others, Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) and Omidyar Network, the investment firm created by Pierre Omidyar, the billionaire founder of eBay (Nasdaq: EBAY). Now It has teamed up with international crowd funding platform GrowVC to raise money from online supporters for its budding mobile app developers. M:lab hopes crowd funding will help its startups scale up into sustainable businesses. That is sorely needed; today even the region’s best ideas can wither on the vine because bank loans and venture capital are hard to come by in East Africa.

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