The Gateway to Africa's Startup Ecosystem
The Gateway to Africa's Startup Ecosystem

Issue #68: Berry Health Secures $1.6 million in Pre-Seed, While Chari Raises Third Round in Six Months

Last week, we recorded a total of eight funding rounds, and for the second consecutive issue, Cameroonian startups were featured in the newsletter. Additionally, Ghanaian startups were also represented, with Berry Health and Mazzuma making appearances in this week’s issue.

Notably, in its third funding round within the past six months, Chari secured $1.5 million from Verod-Kepple Africa Ventures. The investment will be used to accelerate Chari’s growth plans and enhance its financial services infrastructure.


Tappi, a Kenyan e-commerce startup,  has been selected for the latest edition of the Orbit Startups accelerator. As part of the program, Tappi has secured $180,000 in funding, along with access to an intensive support program aimed at facilitating its growth and fundraising efforts beyond the demo day.

Founded in 2022 by Kenfield Griffith, Tappi offers a full-stack social commerce solution that enables small businesses to quickly build an online storefront in under two minutes.

With this funding and the support from the accelerator, Tappi is poised to further develop and expand its innovative social commerce platform, empowering small businesses to establish a strong online presence and reach a wider customer base.


Zoie Health, a South African healthtech startup, has secured an undisclosed amount in a pre-seed extension funding round from 4DX Ventures and E Squared Investments.

Founded in 2020 by Thato Schermer and Nonhlanhla Sitole, Zoie Health specializes in offering virtual consultations, at-home consultations, medication subscriptions, healthcare resources, and a supportive community for women to navigate their healthcare journeys.

With the new funding, Zoie Health aims to expand its product offerings and extend its services to new countries across the African continent, positioning itself as Africa’s leading digital women’s health clinic.

Berry Health, a Ghanaian healthtech startup, has successfully raised $1.6 million in a pre-seed funding round led by Lightspeed Ventures and General Catalyst. Other notable participants in the round include Jen Wong, Demetri Karagas, Steven Gutentag, Betsy Zimmerman, and Regina Benjamin.

Founded by Fredua Akosa, Berry Health operates a subscription-based platform that offers remote diagnosis and treatment for various medical conditions, including anxiety, depression, sexual health issues, dermatology, and hair loss. The platform allows users to interact with licensed medical doctors and clinical psychologists through online consultations, and have medications conveniently delivered to their homes.

The investment will provide Berry Health with the necessary financial resources to further develop and expand its innovative health tech platform.

ShopZetu, a Kenyan fashion e-commerce startup, has successfully raised $1 million in a pre-seed funding round led by Chui Ventures. The round also saw participation from Launch Africa, Roselake Ventures, and Logos Ventures, along with notable angel investors including Kendall Tang, Ben Munoz, Sumit Bhasin, Patricia Ithau, and Peter Njonjo.

Founded in 2021 by Marvin Kiragu, ShopZetu is a fashion technology company focused on powering online fashion retail in Africa. The startup provides a range of services to vendors, including content creation, digital marketing, warehousing, last-mile delivery, and returns management.

With the new funding, ShopZetu plans to expand its operations beyond Kenya by trialing regional delivery services in Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda.

COOKO, an agtech startup based in Cameroon, has successfully raised over €800,000 in a pre-seed funding round. The investment was led by an undisclosed US family office.

Founded in 2021 by Ferdi Van Heerden, COOKO’s mission is to revolutionize the agricultural industry by creating connected, efficient, and regenerative value chains. Their data-driven platform empowers farmers, traders, buyers, and the entire industry with valuable insights, data, and tools for tracing agri-commodities.

With the new funding, COOKO intends to accelerate its mission, with a particular focus on transforming the cocoa value chain. This investment will enable the startup to further develop and expand its platform, making a positive impact on the agricultural sector in Cameroon and beyond.


Mazzuma, a Ghanaian Web3 startup, has successfully secured an undisclosed amount of financing from Adaverse.

Founded in 2017 by Nii-Osae Osae-Dade and Kofi Genfi, Mazzuma initially started as a payments app but has since transitioned into the world of Web3 by exploring cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. Their platform, MazzumaGPT, allows developers to generate smart contract code for Web3 decentralized applications seamlessly.

The funding received from Adaverse will be used to implement the roll-out of MazzumaGPT. With this support, Mazzuma is well-positioned to launch and expand the reach of their innovative AI-powered smart contract creation platform, bringing new possibilities to the world of blockchain and Web3 applications.

Chari, a B2B e-commerce company based in Morocco, has successfully raised $1.5 million in investment from Verod-Kepple Africa Ventures

Founded in 2020 by Sophia Alj and Ismael Belkhayat, Chari operates a marketplace and embedded finance platform that connects small businesses and retailers with FMCG suppliers. Through their mobile app, small retailers in Morocco and Tunisia can easily order products from FMCG multinationals and local manufacturers, with deliveries made in less than 24 hours.

The investment from VKAV will provide the necessary resources to accelerate Chari’s growth plans and further develop its financial services infrastructure to serve a broader audience.

Itot Africa, a DRC-based edtech startup, has secured a $80,000 investment from DRC Impact Angels, the most active angel syndicate operating in the country. The investment was made in collaboration with ABAN (the African Business Angels Network) and co-financed through the ABAN matching fund called Catalytic Africa, with additional support from the incubator Centre d’Innovation de Lubumbashi.

Founded in 2018 by Samy Mwamba, Henrique Mukanda, and Kileshe Kasoma, Itot Africa focuses on providing training and digital educational tools to various entities in the DRC, including corporates, SMEs, NGOs, and individual entrepreneurs.

The purpose of this recent investment is to support Itot Africa in establishing a new office in Kolwezi, which is the largest mining city in the DRC. Moreover, the funding will enable Itot Africa to expand its digital offerings through its flagship product, Okademy. 

Venture Fund

Startup accelerator Techstars is in the process of raising $150 million for a new fund, as indicated by SEC filings. This move comes as the deployment period of its third institutionally-backed fund, Techstars Accelerator 2021, is nearing its end later this year.

The third fund aimed to invest in over 800 pre-seed and seed startups that are part of Techstars’ global accelerator programs by the end of 2023. Over the years, Techstars has supported more than 3,500 early-stage startups across various sectors, including health tech, fintech, web3, and clean tech.

Startups accepted into Techstars’ three-month accelerator program receive financial support in the form of a $20,000 investment and a $100,000 convertible note in exchange for a stake of 6% to 9% of their common stock. Additionally, they gain access to Techstars’ vast network and mentorship opportunities, among other valuable resources.

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