Applications for the WeChat fund opened officially this week. In December last year, WeChat launched its R50 million seed fund to help promising tech startups to get off the ground.
Brett Loubser, head of WeChat Africa, at the time of the launch, said the aim of the fund is to provide financial support to businesses so that they can effectively get on the WeChat platform.
Partly owned by media giant Naspers, WeChat has focused on integrating with early stage businesses whose models strategically fit with the platform and its positioning in the market.
WeChat Africa together with tech strategy practice firm, Batstone, is searching for tech-enabled startups that have initial market validation as well as a viable product.
According to the Batstone website the criteria for consideration includes: a strong founding team with a developed and tested MVP (minimal viable product). The startup team should be able to demonstrate strong growth/traction in the South African market, and be willing to take on equity-based funding for expansion.
The team should also have the ability and appetite to expand into other markets on the WeChat platform, and show a strong strategic fit with the platform. The startup, however, can’t be a competitor to other official WeChat accounts such as PicUp or Money4Jam.
Batstone will be taking applications until 12 February 2016.
Successful applicants will be informed by 26 February when they will be invited to a workshop in early March which is the final phase of the selection process. Those that make it through the selection process will then present to the WeChat investment committee.
Applicants are encouraged to send a two-minute video applications.
Applications can be made via the Batstone’s website (www.batstones.com/wechat).