Ventures Platform, a pan-African venture capital firm that supports the next generation of African tech entrepreneurs, has closed its early-stage and global fund at $46 million. This is more than the original $40 million goal and brings new investors worldwide.
This includes top-tier commercial banks, corporations, development finance institutions, global institutional investors, and high-net-worth individuals, such as Standard Bank, International Finance Corporation (IFC), British International Investment, A to Z Impact, Proparco with FISEA, AfricaGrow, a Fund of Funds backed by the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), DEG, and Allianz and managed by Allianz Global Investors, and others.
With the new fund, Ventures Platform will be able to invest more in a group of category-leading start-ups in Africa. It will also be possible for portfolio companies to get more funding up to series A.
Ventures Platform has also set up an innovative “platform and networks” practice to help the companies it invests in. This practice will give its portfolio companies scalable, world-class support and value creation after an investment.
Since the first close of the fund at the end of last year, the early-stage “discovery” venture capital fund has put new capital and follow-on capital into companies like Remedial Health, Moni Notto, and Chargel in different industries and parts of the continent.
Ventures Platform is looking for opportunities in Kenya, Egypt, and French-speaking West Africa to make its pan-African reach even stronger.
Ventures Platform has made several strategic additions to its partnership and senior management teams since the end of the fund.
Dr. Dotun Olowoporoku, an experienced entrepreneur, investor, and former Principal at Novastar Ventures, a pan-African VC firm, has joined the VC firm as a managing partner. Design Chinniah, a well-known technologist and investor, came on as a venture partner.
The pan-African venture capital firm now has over 60 active investments.
Ventures Platform has built up one of the continent’s largest portfolios of technology start-ups by focusing on funding innovations that create new markets and are best for people who don’t consume.
The fund invests in start-ups from the pre-seed stage to Series A. It invests in fintech, insurtech, life science and health tech, edtech and digital talent accelerators, enterprise SaaS, digital infrastructure plays, agritech and food security, and other sectors.
Kola Aina, Ventures Platform’s founder and general partner said, “We are honored to have both local and international investors who have bought into our vision and are bringing huge value to our portfolio.” This is the cherry on top of a busy year in which we made a lot of progress in our tactical and proprietary interventions, which helped our portfolio companies grow.
IFC’s global director of disruptive technologies and funds, William Sonneborn, said, “IFC is the largest international development organization whose primary goal is to encourage private sector investments in emerging markets. Key to achieving our mission is promoting tech innovation, digital talent, and connectivity.
We are also one of Africa’s most prominent investors in technology. We agree with Ventures Platform that combining the power of technology with the size and reach of entrepreneurship can help solve some of the most critical problems of our time. We are happy to work with Ventures Platform to help young, talented entrepreneurs spread their innovations across the continent and beyond.
Babacar Seck, Proparco’s senior investment officer for venture capital, said they were excited to work with Ventures Platform to support early-stage African start-ups that create new markets and jobs and speed up the continent’s digitalization.
This groundbreaking partnership shows Proparco’s commitment to African entrepreneurship in line with the Choose Africa initiative. FISEA is funding it, an investment fund of the Agence Francaise de Développement that finances African start-ups and small-to-medium businesses through innovative fund managers.
Martin Ewald, lead portfolio manager for Allianz Global Investors, Impact Investments, also said, “The investment strategy of AfricaGrow is to fund Private Equity and Venture Capital funds based in and working in Africa, which is both challenging and very rewarding.”
We have found a great partner in the Ventures Platform. They make a real difference by building successful companies with deep experience, networks, and local knowledge. We hope that working together will go well.”
We think that new businesses, technology, and new ideas are vital to helping Africa reach its full economic potential. Akash Maharaj of the Standard Bank Group said, “We are especially excited to be a part of making Africa a digital and self-sufficient continent. We think Ventures Platform is well positioned with a great leadership team and a solid investment thesis to help achieve these overarching goals.”
So far, Ventures Platform’s companies have raised more than $1 billion in additional funding.