US-based seed accelerator, Y Combinator, is one of the biggest and most sought after startup funding programs in the African ecosystem designed to support the early-stage rollout of companies. Twice a year, divided into two batches - Winter and Summer batch, the accelerator selects startups to receive seed funding in return for a specific stake in the companies. After successful selection, the startups move to Silicon Valley for a 3-month mentorship program, to get further support, and possibly secure more funding.
Over the years, the accelerator’s ticket size varied due to new funds raised, modified budgets, and economic concerns. Looking back at the previous deals set up by Y Combinator, its first ticket size was valued at USD 20 K for a 6 percent equity in 2005 which increased to USD 150 K for the same amount of equity in 2011 with a decline to USD 100 K for 7 percent equity in 2012.
In 2014, Y Combinator’s deal offering increased to USD 120 K for 7 percent equity stake. This deal was on till 2018 when the standard deal changed to USD 150 K for 7 percent equity. In June last year, Geoff Ralston, president and partner at Y Combinator, announced the change in its deal and fundraise starting with the Winter 2021 batch reducing ticket size to USD 125 K for the same amount of equity -7 percent.
In the past twelve months, from March 2020 to date, Y Combinator has invested in 29 Africa-focused companies.