African seed investment fund 88mph is rebranding its Nairobi and Cape Town co-working spaces, and announced it will take a break from investing in kenyan startups this year.
88mph launched in Kenya in 2012 and has since invested in two rounds of Kenyan startups, while it has also run two accelerator programmes in South Africa, with total investments amounting to more than US$2 million.
It has also partnered L5Lab to create 440, which will invest in mobile and internet startups in Nigeria, but ahead of the launch in West Africa in September has chosen to rebrand its existing spaces and refrain from launching a third round of investment in Kenya for the time being.
“We are taking a break from Nairobi this year to focus on setting up 88mph in Lagos. We have a strong group of startups in Nairobi right now, so we decided to work with the startups we have already invested in and set up shop in Lagos,” 88mph programme manager in Nairobi Nikolai Barnwell told HumanIPO.
Barnwell said, however, it was not a full-on withdrawal from Kenya.
“We think there is a huge potential in Sub-Saharan Africa and we are building 88mph to invest in the best entrepreneurs across the continent,” he said.
The two co-working spaces have been rebranded to Startup Garage // Nairobi and Startup Garage // Cape Town respectively, though 88mph will still be operating from both spaces.
“The decision to split the working space from the fund was made due to the fund taking a break on investing in 2014, and a choice to drive the space as a tech-startup community and events space – which is more easy to do when operating as an independent entity,” 88mph said.