The Catalytic Africa co-investment fund helped startups in 10 African countries in its first year. The fund was started by the African Business Angels Network (ABAN) and AfriLabs in 2019. They say that in the last year, they have finally closed deals in 10 countries.
AfriLabs, a pan-African network of technology and innovation centres, and ABAN have joined forces to boost the pool of money available to talented African growth-stage entrepreneurs, promote the startup ecosystem, and raise the visibility of impact to institutional funders.
It set up Catalytic, a co-investment fund that will match institutional funds with investments made by registered angel investors. The Agence Française de Développement (AFD) and the Digital Africa fund are backing the project.
After a successful pilot, the fund went into full operation last October. Since then, angel investors and the fund have invesred US$500,000 into startups in 10 countries, including Cameroon, Botswana, Nigeria, Tunisia, Kenya, and South Africa. This means that 60% of the Catalytic Africa matching fund applications were approved.
Because we believe that the only way to foster the growth of an inclusive ecosystem is to attend to the needs of all of its stakeholders, every transaction that takes place in Catalytic Africa involves three parties:
- The startup is looking to further its growth and expansion.
- The innovation hub is looking to support the startup along its development journey.
- The investor and the angel network help the startup by giving it mentors and advice.
The Catalytic Africa model was built with this philosophy in mind, said Fadilah Tchoumba, the secretary general of ABAN.
The fact that Catalytic Africa has become a reality has only strengthened our belief that reducing the risks that angel investors face when investing in innovative African startup companies can positively affect the lives of millions of people. The availability of matching funds enables entrepreneurs to realize their full potential and provides them with some breathing space.