Firm’s move is a vote of confidence to accelerate Africa’s Gig Economy infrastructure capacity
Gebeya Inc., the SaaS-enabled, Pan-African marketplace, today announced a new Pre-Series A Equity Investment from Inclusion Japan (ICJ). The Tokyo-based firm provides VC funding for startups. The new investment aims to drive growth and innovation for Gebeya’s continuous expansion.
The undisclosed strategic investment will be used to expand Gebeya from a single two-sided tech talent marketplace to a provisioner of marketplaces under a Marketplace-As-A-Service model.
Through its six years of operation, Gebeya has been dedicated to building Africa’s tech talent ecosystem through a combination of upskilling and job-creation opportunities for hundreds of working tech professionals while also supporting entrepreneurs looking to launch their own innovations.
“ICJ has so far invested in two African-based startups, both in Ethiopia. Dodai, an e-mobility technology startup, is run by my fellow CEO Yuma whose vision and commitment on Africa have made ICJ consider the second investment into Gebeya. ICJ investment is quite strategic in building a strong bridge between Japan and Ethiopia regarding investment, knowledge transfer, and business development.” said Amadou Daffe, Gebeya’s CEO & Co-founder. “Gebeya has always thrived off of strong partnerships with like-minded firms who recognize Africa’s potential and that pooling resources is critical to achieve impact at scale.
ICJ’s vision is for a high-touch, collaborative co-creation of the future, where individuals and society work in harmony to address pressing problems. Their other portfolio companies include forward-thinking startups in green energy, finance, food, and transportation, including ispace Inc., a Japanese startup that launched a commercial spacecraft to the moon last December, setting a record. Zeroboard, another ICJ portfolio company, is dedicated to decarbonization.
To date, ICJ has invested in 16 startups under their ICJ No. 2 Fund. The undisclosed investment is the fund’s first in Africa’s talent marketplace space. Start-ups in Africa raised nearly $5 billion last year, breaking the 2021 record of $4.6 billion, in the face of a global funding downturn, according to Africa: The Big Deal.
“We are delighted to be investing in Gebeya,” said Yasuhiro Yoshizawa, Director, and Co-Founder at ICJ.” As a fund manager with a $100 million investment budget that will focus on the Africa region, I consider myself very fortunate to have been able to invest in Gebeya, which has the greatest potential in Sub-Saharan Africa.”
“We are grateful for the opportunity to partner with ICJ and are confident that this investment will help us to take our company to new heights,” said Daffe. “We are excited to see what the future holds and are committed to delivering the best possible products and services to our customers.”
Gebeya has already raised a total of $4M in SEED funding from Partech Ventures, Orange Ventures, and Consonance since 2020. This strategic Pre-Series A equity investment from ICJ will allow Gebeya further to strengthen its product offering, especially the Marketplace-As-A-Service one, but also beef up its sales team and processes to better serve its target markets both for its supply and demand sides.
Gebeya’s collaboration with ICJ extends its ongoing focus on developing Africa’s Freelance Economy ecosystem and making the continent globally competitive through its supply of working professionals. The partnership will also further each company’s market position and value proposition. Gebeya has a long working history of empowering talents and entrepreneurs, while ICJ’s deep expertise with startups perfectly positions it to usher Gebeya into its new growth phase.
About Gebeya Inc.
Gebeya Inc. is a Pan-African SaaS-enabled Talent Marketplace headquartered in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, with offices in Kenya and Senegal. The VC-backed startup includes a team of 50+ passionate people dedicated to bridging the labor gap between skilled professionals and companies in Africa, and with a SaaS that offers software features to marketplace owners. Gebeya is strengthening the continent’s presence and competitiveness throughout the global gig economy.
Gebeya aims to connect startups, SMEs, and multinational corporations with vetted, skilled talent and professional services in more than 30 countries across Africa. As an active contributor to the continent’s talent transformation, Gebeya leverages robust partnerships to provide upskilling and certification, mentorship & coaching, microlending, and meaningful work opportunities to build a booming pipeline of experienced professionals with the right mindset, attitude, and integrity. Its vision is to be the most trusted and reliable source of skilled talent that showcases Africa’s competitiveness. For more information, visit www.gebeya.com
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About Inclusion Japan, Inc.
Inclusion Japan’s vision is “creating a society in which each and every person can work and live in a lively and lively manner with a sense of touch.” As a corporation, ICJ operates a venture capital fund, ICJ No. 2 Fund, in which its leadership serves as General Partner investors. The ICJ No. 2 Fund discovers, invests in, and supports ventures. The organizational structure increases the degree of cooperation with investee companies.