Aduna Capital, a venture capital firm based in Africa, has recently launched a $20 million fund focused on the Northern Nigerian startup ecosystem. Surayyah Ahmad, the General Partner at Aduna Capital, and co-manager Sanusi Ismaila are enthusiastic about this initiative. They are keen to identify and nurture unique opportunities in the region.
Bringing a wealth of experience and a history of success, Surayyah Ahmad is a foundational figure for this venture. Having founded YDS Online, an eCommerce business acquired in 2022, Ahmad possesses a deep insight into the challenges and potential startups face.
Sanusi Ismaila, a key figure in Northern Nigeria’s tech innovation scene, established Colab, the region’s largest innovation hub. This hub has been pivotal in nurturing tech talent and fostering the growth of businesses such as Sudo and Payant.
Aduna Capital, recognizing the potential in Northern Nigeria, allocates 55.5% of its investments to regional companies. This strategy is informed by projections that Nigeria will become the world’s fourth-largest country by 2050.
By shifting its focus from the more traditional investment hotspots, Aduna Capital aims to revolutionize the investment landscape. Currently, Lagos, with over 80% of Nigerian startups, dominates the scene. However, Aduna Capital is mindful of the investment disparities and the unique challenges faced by female entrepreneurs. Its goal is to bridge these gaps and become a catalyst for transformation in Northern Nigeria.
Aduna Capital is set to invest in over 50 early-stage companies, concentrating on pre-seed and seed-stage startups. To address the gap in angel investing within the region, Ahmad mentioned that typical investments will range from $50,000 to $200,000, with the fund occasionally stepping in to support angel investors.
Given the limited exit opportunities in the market, the firm aims to make exit investments by the Series A stage. However, Ahmad noted that around 20% of the portfolio companies will be retained for potential future investment opportunities.
Ahmad revealed that a substantial portion of the fund’s assets is ready for investment, although the exact percentage of the secured funds remains undisclosed. Aduna Capital is also exploring innovative approaches like profit-sharing agreements to align with the preferences of local investors who may be hesitant about the traditional venture capital model.
Aduna Capital aims to drive economic development, foster inclusivity, and spur innovation both in Nigeria and internationally, significantly impacting Africa. The fund plans to invest in outstanding entrepreneurs across the country and the broader African region, focusing on the North. A key aspect of their strategy includes achieving a 50% female representation among their finance companies.