An undisclosed strategic equity investment has been secured by an Ethiopian tech talent marketplace, Gebeya Incorporated, from a Tokyo-based firm, Inclusion Japan (ICJ), to drive growth and innovation.
In a statement made available to Business Post, it was stated that the pre-series A investment from ICJ, which provides VC funding for startups, would enable Gebeya to transform from a single two-sided marketplace to a provisioner of marketplaces under a Marketplace-As-A-Service model.
The SaaS-enabled company will share its expertise in supplying vetted gig workers to hundreds of entrepreneurs across Africa who seek to launch their own marketplaces. They will benefit from the ability to quickly get their businesses online, creating thousands of gig economy jobs per marketplace across the continent.
ICJ has invested in 16 startups under their ICJ No. 2 Fund. The undisclosed investment in Gebeya 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.
Gebeya has already raised a total of $4 million in SEED funding from Partech Ventures, Orange Ventures, and Consonance since 2020.
This strategic Pre-Series A 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.
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.
The chief executive of Gebeya, Amadou Daffe, while commenting on the investment from ICJ, stated that, “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 to 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.
“Gebeya has always thrived off of strong partnerships with like-minded firms who recognize Africa’s potential and that pooling resources is critical to achieving impact at scale.
“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.
“We are excited to see what the future holds and are committed to delivering the best possible products and services to our customers.”
Also commenting, the co-founder of ICJ, Yasuhiro Yoshizawa, said, “We are delighted to be investing in Gebeya.
“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.”