Home African Hubs VC firm BSP Fund LLC acquires IHub Limited at an undisclosed amount

VC firm BSP Fund LLC acquires IHub Limited at an undisclosed amount

8 min read

I got the moves
I got the moves
I’m making moves
You gotta move (you gotta move).

IHub Limited,  the mother company of IHub : Nairobi’s base innovation Space has been acquired by venture capital firm BSP Fund LLC for an undisclosed sum.  SInce Last year, IHub had its game going on on the Kenyan Tech Space scene, from relocation to changing its business model, some aiming at it saying it’s aiming at the high-end folks, anyway that’s’ all for the growth of the eco-system.

Quoting TechWeez  “iHub started as a social movement and made the country, region and world realize how to run a tech hub and how important these spaces are important for the development of technology. The tech landscape in Kenya would have been totally different were it not for the iHub” Yikes! Yikes!

Back to the major highlight of the day, IHub’s Acquisition by the Controversial Investor Miguel : “In the email, which was addressed to multiple stakeholders, including but not only Brian MuitaErik HersmanMiguel Granier and Riyaz BachaniPhares Kariuki alleged that only one payment of $2,000 had been made to date. ” from a post in TechCabal.

The very above names some are also on the IHubs deal. “Today we’re excited to announce some fairly significant changes at the iHub. A group of people is investing in the iHub in order to help us grow, to tighten up our service offerings and make them more profitable, and to help us figure out how not to just find startups but to grow the ones that are getting traction,” said Hersman.

Founded in 2010 by Ory Okolloh, Erik Hersman, Juliana Rotich and David Kobia, iHub has been iconic in leading Kenya’s tech sector by bringing the tech community together as well as producing global brands such as Ushahidi ( also found in a Sexual conflict case this year filed by an employee ) and BRCK. Its other arms include m:lab incubator,  iHub Research, iHub Consulting and the UX Lab and recently GearBox ( which apparently has been acquired by Miguel Granier at a major stake ).

However, all things turned sour with allegations that some of the key founders were kicked out to register the firm as a private limited. Mr Hersman had 49.95 per cent stake in I-Hub prior to the deal.  The other major shareholder was Mr Josiah Mugambi, also with 49.95 per cent stake, while Ms. Juliana Rotich and David Kobia had minority interest of 0.05 per cent each.

iHub has grown from a grant-supported (Omidyar Network, Google, and Hivos) organization to a 100% self-funded venture with iHub Research, iHub Consulting and the UX Lab covering around 70% of iHub’s operation costs and the remaining 30% covered by its corporate partnerships and events. Other hubs in Nairobi and world over need to learn from this move.

The share valuation was pennies, on purpose. We had built this up for the community… We felt it would be unfair if we took some monetary gain from it,” said Mr Hersman.

“… the Competition Authority of Kenya (CA) excludes the proposed acquisition of the entire issued capital of I-Hub and majority share capital of Gearbox by BSP Fund LLC from the provisions Of Part IV of the Act,” said the CA director-general Mr Wang’ombe Kariuki in his approval of the deal, arguing that the deal would not affect competition.

I guess we can no longer count IHub as an Incubation but a business, since Nairobi itself has more than 7 tech spaces, it’s time to let the younger ones grow, maybe Nairobi Garage, which recently moved to a bigger hub helping to meet the increasing demand for office spaces in Nairobi.

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