Purple Elephant Ventures Closes $1m Pre-Seed Round
The Kenyan tourism-focused venture studio’s goal is to lead Africa’s tourism industry towards a greener future, with PEV startups typically scalable, tech-first solutions.
Purple Elephant Ventures (PEV) has closed a pre-seed round of US$1 million from a group of well-known global investors to help it launch startups that will drive Africa’s tourism sector towards a greener future.
Investors in PEV’s US$1 million pre-seed round include Klister Credit Corp, a Canadian investment firm and early backer of Shopify; Fede Pirzio-Biroli, founder of Playfair Capital; Ian McCaig, former CEO of lastminute.com and M-Kopa board member; Anthony Rock, president of Rock Impact Capital; The Untours Foundation; Rich Hoops, executive Director at Impact Capital; Jim Villanueava, managing director of Global Partnerships Social Venture Fund; and Helena Riese Harstad, co-founder and chair of the Optimizer Foundation.
The goal is to lead Africa’s tourism industry towards a greener future, with PEV startups typically scalable, tech-first solutions that supercharge urgent efforts to make Africa’s tourism industry more resilient and more sustainable in the face of climate change.
To date, PEV has launched two startups. One is Nomad Africa, a content-to-commerce business that informs Africa’s domestic tourism market about sustainable and local travel experiences, and the other is Elephant Bookings, a SaaS business that helps African hospitality providers become more efficient by getting online.
Ben Peterson, PEV CEO said: “We’re sitting on a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to modernize a major continental industry while driving real climate-action victories.”
“Tourism is a significant driver of Africa’s economy, but sadly there have been only a small handful of startups that have tried to modernize the largely offline industry. We decided that the industry could benefit from dozens of startups each addressing different major challenges – so we built PEV,” Peterson said.