Ventures Platform closes first round of $40m pan-African fund
Ventures Platform has announced the first close of its new $40m Pan-African, early-stage fund to invest in market-creating innovations and the next generation of African entrepreneurs.
This was made known in a statement issued by the company on Thursday.
The Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA), UAC Nigeria, VFD Group, Gbenga Oyebode, Shola Akinlade (Paystack), and global investors like; Michael Seibel (Y Combinator) and Adam Draper, among others are the leading names supporting the new fund, according to Ventures Platform.
It added that a second close of the fund is due to take place in early 2022 and will feature investment from select global Institutional Investors and DFI’s.
Ventures Platform is one of the most active early-stage investors in African tech, and will significantly deepen its long-standing presence in Nigeria and West Africa while also investing in select opportunities in East, North & Francophone Africa – that have the potential to expand into West Africa’s key markets.
The fund’s latest capital injection also firmly positions it to double down on existing investments in its category-leading portfolio via subsequent rounds.
The Founder and General Partner at Ventures Platform, Kola Aina, said, “Over the last six years, we’ve backed close to 70 of Africa’s most compelling tech companies, building a robust portfolio which has featured one of the largest exits our sector witnessed to date through Paystack last year.
“As the incredible momentum in African tech continues to build, it’s attracting unprecedented attention globally amongst traditional and institutional investors, and we’re delighted to welcome aboard some world-class, strategic stakeholders to our fund.”
“As operators ourselves, we know what it takes to build a successful business on the continent, and we’ve spent years partnering with visionary founders effectively tackling some of Africa’s hardest problems – now is the time to go even further.
We’re fully maximizing our deep expertise navigating the nuances of the African market, and as we move ahead, we’re developing a global network of Limited Partners (LPs) in more established markets like Europe, the USA and Asia, many of whom partner with us due to our track record of backing winners, and they appreciate our on-the-ground experience and access to opportunities, which is vital for generating returns,” he said.
With a ticket size up to $1m, Ventures Platform said it is now positioned to fund follow-on rounds of successful startups building market-creating innovations across pre-seed, seed and Series A stages in sectors including fintech, healthtech, enterprise SAAS, digital infrastructure and more.
Amassing a total of 28 investments to date in 2021 alone, the platform’s portfolio of 69 start-ups is one of the most elite in African tech with high-profile names including Seamless HR, Piggy Vest, Mono and Paystack – which Stripe acquired in October 2020 for $200m.
Speaking about the fund, the Managing Director and CEO, NSIA, Mr. Uche Orji, said “Participation in this fund hits at the very core of the Authority’s objectives: stimulating growth by enabling new and innovative intramural technology to empower the continent.
“To harness and unleash Nigeria and Africa’s potential, we are of the opinion that investment in ventures in the innovation and technology space is essential. In this regard, the Authority is proud to play a role in facilitating what it expects will lead to the rise of Africa.”
To date, the statement added that Ventures Platform’s portfolio has raised over $500m in follow-on rounds, and as the investor moves to consolidate its leading market position, this marks its first official institutional fund with previous capital resulting from the syndicate and proprietary capital funds.
About Venture Platform:
Ventures Platform, since its launch in 2016, has acted as a key partner and conduit for international funds and stakeholders seeking a reliable and experienced partner to do business in Africa.
With an on-the-ground presence and experience with corporate partnerships, this new fund strengthens Ventures Platform’s track record of collaborating with investors from all over the world who need a reliable partner to work with when investing in the African technology space.
As part of a move to further deepen its expertise, Ventures Platform has also onboarded leading figures across African tech as Venture Partners, including; Seni Sulyman (ex-VP at Andela, ex-COO at Bellhop, Founder at Black Ops.)
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