WeChat Africa says it’s investing R50 million into a seed fund to help mobile startups that could potentially improve the service WeChat offers to its user base.
Startups such as Money4Jam, and PicUp have in the past enjoyed great success on the platform though we should point out that both services operate exclusively on WeChat at time of writing.
The new fund might serve as a way to catapult startups with ideas for WeChat content into the market with WeChat offering the assistance of both funding, and a platform.
“Our fund aims to provide financial support to businesses so that they can effectively get on the WeChat platform. This will include technical integration and communications tactics across the Naspers’ stable and other suited channels,” Head of WeChat Africa, Brett Loubser said in a statement.
WeChat has partnered with Batstone Ventures which will find startups and investment opportunities in Africa that could benefit from using the WeChat platform and then provide consulting services to guide these startups through the growth phase.
This does bode well for startups that could offer WeChat a service that makes the platform more tempting to users such as micro-jobbing platform Money4Jam did.
“Ideally we, and WeChat Africa, can partner with great businesses as well as VC [venture capital] funds looking for a platform with large market reach to test their investments’ potential,” said Head of Batstone Ventures, Alexandra Fraser.
Applications for the fund will open 18th January 2016 and startups will be selected based on a mix of the online application as well as a series of workshops which will be held.