Artha India Ventures (AIV), the well-established family office of Ashok Kumar Damani, today announced a pre-seed investment in Badili, Africa’s first online buy-back platform for smartphones, based in Kenya. This marks AIV’s 1st investment in Africa and brings its international investments to 11 across Israel, the USA and now Africa, and the overall total (national and international) investments to 75.
AIV aims to spread its investment portfolio across 7-8 countries across the African continent and will invest in 25 more startups by 2024, with a cumulative fund allocation of over USD 20 Mn in Africa through direct, GP, LP and syndicated investments. AIV will invest in seed to series A rounds across fintech & lending, media infrastructure and consumer-tech sectors, depending on the proposition at hand.
Badili has raised the first tranche of USD 850K from the total target of a USD 3.35 Mn pre-seed round. Notable angels and institutional investors such as Rajesh Sawhney, Ritesh Malik, SOSV, Uncovered Fund and Grenfell Holdings participated in the tranche. Badili will utilise the funds for acquiring inventory, tech enhancement, and establishing its offline presence through brick-and-mortar stores across 7 cities in the East African country, Kenya. The consumer to business (C2B) startup is the first in Africa that purchases and sells used smartphones directly from/to the consumers and is supported by strategic partnerships in China, South Korea and India.
Anirudh A Damani, Director, Artha India Ventures, said, “We are thrilled with our first investment in Africa as it is among the frontrunners of emerging markets after India. We have received a tremendous response from the African startup ecosystem and look forward to investing in 4 to 5 Africa-focused startups every year. Moreover, we are not limited to seed rounds and have expanded our investment strategy to include pre-series A and series A rounds for this important continent.
Badili had to be our maiden investment in the country as we resonate with Rishabh’s pragmatic vision and frugal innovation. He is a seasoned entrepreneur with a solid track record from his previous startups. As the 1st player to purchase, refurbish and sell smartphones in Kenya, Badili has a clear first-mover advantage in the region. We are elated to have them on board.”
Rishabh Lawania, Founder & CEO, Badili, commented, “With over 20% of smartphone users in Kenya opting for second-hand smartphone devices, we have identified a clear demand in the segment. So much so that we have partnered with various suppliers across countries, leading with India, that can enable us to meet the initial demand.”