Gray Matters Capital, a US-based impact investor focused on the funding for-profit social enterprises in markets of Africa, India, Latin America, USA and South East Asia, has today announced the names of the start-ups which have made it to the second cohort of its GMC Calibrator Program.
The GMC Calibrator is a Digital Self-learning to Earning Accelerator launched by Gray Matters Capital in April 2018 with an aim to make the mobile phone a device to promote ‘Self Learning to Earning’ by improving user engagement, monetization and optimization of mobile learning platforms. This is done by understanding and implementing the principles of behavioural science and data-driven decision making.
The cohort of March 2019 of the program has two start-ups from Africa – Sierra Leone based Mobile Learning Platform for Financial Inclusion – Mosabi and Kenya’s leading Parenting Website – Mums Village joining seven other start-ups from India and Vietnam.
“From an engagement point of view, we saw impact on the lines of 30% increase in monthly retention and 20% increase in revenue for every member of the first cohort we ran from June to December 2018. Three companies of the cohort raised funding during the 6 month engagement while two made it to Google Launchpad and Reliance’s Jio GenNext Accelerator. We are confident of calibrating more such success stories with our March 2019 cohort”, said Omkar Kulkarni, Program Head, GMC Calibrator.
Speaking about the selection of the African start-ups for the program, he said, “We are excited to welcome Mosabi and Mums Village on-board. Africa is an important market for us at Gray Matters Capital and we are strategically looking to nurture those start-ups, which can create gendered impact with their mobile solutions through our program.”
Gray Matters Capital makes sector agnostic investments globally through its gender lens portfolio – coLABS in enterprises whose products and services benefit women and girls at scale. It has made 3 investments in Africa – Rwanda based African Renewable Energy Distributer (2017), Ghana-based Redbird Health Tech (2018) and Nigeria based Sonocare (2019).
In India, it funds education and skilling enterprises working to improve access to affordable quality education and employability with its edLABS initiative.
How these Start-Ups are Looking to Benefit?
Mosabi, which produces localized animated content focused on financial inclusion for the underserved and connects them to financial service providers (FSPs) through its Android app designed for low-bandwidth settings, operates in Sierra Leone, Ghana, Kenya and Liberia, and is currently launching in Senegal.
Hinting at Mosabi’s possible expansion into markets like the Indian sub-continent, Chris Czerwonka, Co-Founder and Chief Innovation Officer, Mosabi said, “Our origins and momentum have all been in Africa, but we embrace a responsibility to reach scale and expand to other markets like India that need the same gaps addressed among underserved communities. It’s exciting to see the traction and improvements from the 2018 cohort and would be great if we could follow suit. We aim to capitalize on the resources and mentorship of Calibrator to improve adoption and engagement, optimize curriculum, build best practices for learner affinity and retention, harness data insights to continue providing impact, refine our approach for the Indian context and build our user base on the subcontinent.”
Nairobi based Mums Village is an online platform created as a home for Kenyan mothers to freely express themselves among a community of doulas, doctors, nutritionists, fitness experts and fellow parents; besides accessing resources, relevant, and localized information, products, and services for pregnant women and mothers in Africa.
“Mums Village enables mothers to access and share locally relevant content and products through peer-to-peer communities. We believe our participation in the accelerator program will enable us to scale and optimize. The target market potential of baby goods in Africa is huge and is projected to reach US$ 5-7 billion by 2021. This paves the way for us to take the e-commerce route to support our growing community”, said Isis Nyong’o, CEO and Co-Founder, Mums Village, outlining her business strategy.