14 VCs invest in one African start-up a month since 2021
March 27, 2023351 views0 comments
By Alexander Chiejina
Funds range from $25,000 to $10m
Fourteen venture capitalists (VCs) have on average participated in at least one $100,000+ deal a month in Africa since 2021, Business AM investigations reveal.
These investments have enabled startups to be nurtured and grow to scale, thereby providing jobs and advancing Africa’s growth and development. Below is a summary of the fourteen investors:
Launch Africa is the most active investor in terms of deal count in 2021, and repeated the feat in 2022. Being involved in more than a deal in a week on average, the firm has the widest geographical spread (at least 124 deals in Africa). They have been involved in 12 percent of all equity deals of between $100,000 and $10 million that happened on the continent in the past couple of years.
Launch Africa is a leading Pan-African VC fund solving the significant funding gap in the Seed and pre-Series A investment landscape in Africa. With a decade-long track record of venture building alongside some of the smartest founding teams in Africa, the firm back startups across multiple sectors, regions, and products that tackle the most meaningful challenges on the continent – financial services; enterprise solutions; education and skills; climate and green tech; telecom and media; health tech; smart cities and energy; food and water; and digital transformation.
Launch Africa invests its capital, time, intellectual resources, and global networks into leading B2B and B2B2C early-stage, technology-driven startups with strong management teams and scalable solutions. Its global advisory networks and unique access to corporate distribution channels across Africa enables it to unlock value for its startups through strategic partnerships and regional networks.
Flat6Labs is Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region’s leading seed and early-stage venture capital firm, currently running the most renowned startup programmes in the region. Annually, Flat6Labs invests in over 100 innovative and technology-driven startups enabling thousands of passionate entrepreneurs to achieve their daring ambitions and ultimately becoming their institutional co-founders.
With more than three deals in a month on average, Flat6Labs has gathered at least 88 deals under its belt. Flat6Labs provides a wide range of investment ticket sizes ranging from $50,000 to $500,000, supporting startups through their early journeys from Pre-Seed all the way to Pre-Series A stages. Alongside the investments, Flat6Labs’ startup programmes, executed to cater specifically for the needs of the innovative entrepreneurs, assists them accelerate their growth by providing them with a plethora of support services and connecting them to unparalleled opportunities with an expansive network comprising hundreds of business mentors, investors and corporates.
Y Combinator, an American technology startup accelerator which has launched over 4,000 companies, including Airbnb, Coinbase, Cruise, DoorDash, Dropbox, Instacart, Quora, PagerDuty, Reddit, Stripe and Twitch, has continued to grow its presence in Africa in 2021-2022. Two-thirds of its 2022 investments were focused on Nigeria (vs. 38% in 2021) – attaining at least 80 deals with more than three deals a month on average.
The VC firm created a new model for funding startups. Twice a year, the company invests a small amount of money ($150k) in a large number of startups. The startup accelerator works intensively with the companies for three months, to get them into the best possible shape and refine their pitch to investors. Each cycle culminates in Demo Day when the startups present their companies to a carefully selected, invite-only audience.
This VC made more than three $100,000+ investments a month on average during the period, almost half of which were in Nigeria. Gathering at least 76 deals in Africa. The company empowers Afropreneurs to build a prosperous and equitable future in Africa by solving big problems for vast populations by leveraging low-cost, scalable platforms.
A global investment firm that provides access to capital, one-on-one mentorship, a worldwide network and customised programming for early-stage entrepreneurs, the firm has about 67 deals with more than two deals firmed up in a month on average in Africa. Founded in 2006 in Boulder, Colorado, the firm provides access to capital, and one-on-one mentorship for early-stage entrepreneurs. As of May 2022, the company had accepted over 2,900 companies into its accelerator programmes with a combined market capitalization of $71 billion.
The firm has entrepreneurs, investors and operators with a track record of building and scaling Africa’s most impactful digital economy businesses. Its collective experiences over the last decade uniquely position it to help Africa’s next generation of leaders solve the continent’s biggest challenges. Future Africa is inspired by the principles of African prosperity built on lessons from a decade of building and investing on the continent.
Kepple (now Verod-Kepple Africa Ventures)
Verod-Keppple Africa Ventures is a VC that addresses three thematic areas within Africa:
Interested in tech-enabled infrastructure to fill the gap for pain points following gaps in traditional infrastructure, e.g., banking, logistics, insurance; gaps in the provision of what should be public goods e.g., education, ambulance services and addressing diseconomies of scale / barriers to scaling inefficiency solvers.
Innovations that solve the inefficiencies for existing African industries/businesses such as fragmentation and disaggregated markets e.g. in supply chains and markets; unaffordable solutions e.g., diagnostics, route to consumer, bridging gaps in the “informal” economy, and
Home-grown innovation: Home-grown innovation that caters to emerging African lifestyles and consumption trends, increasing demand for local content, growing and diverse consumer base with new needs that are not being served
The company has participated in at least one $100k+ deal a month in Africa in 2021-2022.
This firm seeks to transform Africa’s startup economy by designing purpose-built scalable technology businesses, deliver new capital flows and develop the best talent. With a focus on scale, technology and impact, our businesses will serve the needs of economies that are facing unprecedented growth and demand for utility-based products and services across four thematic areas: health, energy, fintech and education. While the company delivers for the African consumer market, it harnesses the social and financial capital of the Founders Family network to attract new investment and renewed focus on the potential and opportunity of the African startup ecosystem.
Norrsken VC is one of Europe’s largest impact focused early-stage VC funds borne out of Norrsken Foundation – a non-profit foundation founded in 2016 by Niklas Adalberth, co-founder of Klarna, with the belief that entrepreneurs building rapidly scalable businesses are our best bet to solving the hardest and biggest problems of our time.
Norrsken VC operates independently, but shares the same values and mission with the Norrsken Foundation – by being desirous to enable the next impact unicorn – a company that has a positive effect on one billion lives.
Plug and Play
The firm connects early-stage investors, startups, and the world’s largest corporations by assisting them to access and de-risk innovation by building a completely free accelerator programme for startups under the verticals that they focus on. Today, the company is an ecosystem, which has notably brought together over 50,000 startups and over 550 world corporations. In Africa, Plug and Play is one of the most active investors. The firm did 18 deals in 2022—an average of two deals per month—investing an average of $100,000–$150,000.
Founded by one of Nigeria’s most active early-stage investors, Kola Aina, it has made 69 investments since 2016. Ventures Platform sees itself as a thesis-centred fund. Aina said the fund’s thesis is centred around funding market-creating innovations that solve non-consumption and create innovative new ways to deliver goods and services or services to low-income markets. The firm is focused on six core verticals: fintech, edtech, agritech and food science, healthtech and bioscience, enterprise SaaS and digital infrastructure.
Musha Ventures is an Africa-focused micro-VC and angel fund. The firm invests in sectors, including education, healthcare, fintech, agriculture, and supply chain.
4DX Ventures is a Pan-Africa focused venture capital firm. Its mission is to connect people, ideas, and capital to create a thriving African continent, and a vibrant global community. The company invests early and with conviction backed by extensive research & analysis, an expansive global network and deep local perspective. The company views founders as our partners on the company journey and are unwavering in its commitment to add value not just with its capital and network but also by working closely with each company and providing strategic, operational and technical input that helps management teams to hyperscale their businesses.
500 Global is a venture capital firm with more than $2.7 billion in assets under management that invests in founders building fast-growing technology companies. The company focuses on markets where technology, innovation, and capital can unlock long-term value and drive economic growth. The company has invested far and wide, across sectors and geographies, including 50+ companies valued at $1 billion+ and 150+ companies valued at more than $100 million.