Ventures Platform, an African early-stage investment fund that supports startup companies on the continent, has announced the closure of a first tranche of US$40 million, to invest in market-creating innovations.
With the completion of this transaction, a second component of the fund is due to take place in early 2022 and will feature investment from selected global institutional investors and development finance institutions (DFIs). The fund’s latest capital injection also firmly positions it to double down on existing investments in its category-leading portfolio via subsequent rounds.
Building upon its stellar reputation as one of the most active early-stage investors in African tech, Ventures Platform, will significantly deepen its long-standing presence in Nigeria and West Africa while also investing in selected opportunities in East, North & Francophone Africa – that have the potential to expand into West Africa’s key markets.
The fund is led by Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA), with the new fund featuring participation from existing investors and some new leading names across Africa’s corporate and tech ecosystems, including UAC Nigeria, VFD Group, Gbenga Oyebode, Shola Akinlade (Paystack), and global investors like Michael Seibel (Y Combinator) among others.
Founder and General Partner, Ventures Platform, Kola Aina, indicated that since its launch in 2016, Ventures Platform has acted as a key partner and conduit for international funds and stakeholders seeking a reliable and experienced partner to do business in Africa.
Adding that with on the ground presence on the continent and its experience with corporate partnerships, talent, growth, regulation and operations – this new fund introduces the benefit of strong local limited partnership (LP) participation and strengthens Ventures Platform’s ability to institutionalise its track record of collaborating with LPs and investors from North America, Europe and Asia, who need a reliable partner to work alongside when investing in the African technology space.
“Over the last six years, we have 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 is attracting unprecedented attention globally amongst traditional and institutional investors, and we’re delighted to welcome aboard some world-class, strategic stakeholders to our fund,” he said.
Mr. Aina stressed that as operators, they know what it takes to build a successful business on the continent and have spent years partnering with visionary founders effectively tackling some of Africa’s hardest problems and now is the time to go even further.
With a ticket size up to US$1million plus, Ventures Platform is now positioned to fund successful startups building market-creating innovations across sectors including Fintech, healthtech, enterprise SAAS, digital infrastructure and more.
To date, Ventures Platform’s portfolio has raised over US$500million 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 syndicate and proprietary capital funds.
Amassing a total of 28 investments to date in 2021 alone, the platform’s portfolio of 69 startups 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 US$200million.
Speaking about the fund, Uche Orji, CEO, NSIA, 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.”
Kola Aina, Founder and General Partner at Ventures Platform