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Press Release: Seedstars launches a pan-African venture fund to accompany its regional strategy

  • In General
  • 17 Apr 2019 - 4:20pm
  • By Mark Wamai
  • 148
Labeskey / Schoolap, from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, who won the Transforming Education Prize receive their award at Seedstars Summit 2019. Image:Ton Oliveira/Seedstars

Geneva, April 17th, 2019 - Seedstars is partnering with First Growth Ventures to launch Seedstars Africa Ventures, a sub-Saharan Africa fund targeting $100mn to make early-stage minority investments from USD 250,000 to USD 5 million in the most promising and innovative ventures across sectors and countries. The fund is expected to make its first investments by the end of this year.

The partnership between Seedstars and First Growth Ventures was announced on April 4th, 2019 at the Seedstars Summit in Lausanne. Seedstars, the preeminent startup community for emerging markets active in over 80 ecosystems, offers unrivaled dealflow, market access and startup support programs. With activities in over 20 sub-Saharan Africa markets and physical hubs in key countries such as South Africa, Nigeria, Ivory Coast and Tanzania, the fund is being developed on strong foundations. The First Growth Ventures founding team brings investment and support experience covering tech startups and high growth enterprises in Africa, Europe and MENA. The partnership structure allows for independent decision making, enabling the fund to target both Seedstars accelerated start-ups and other companies.

Most venture funds focus on finding the next African tech unicorn in only a few ecosystems, but unicorns are rare on the African continent.  Seedstars Africa Ventures will also be searching for “Gazelles”: post-commercialisation, scalable, high growth companies that are plentiful on the continent outside the three main VC markets. Some of Africa’s most successful companies have developed products and services addressing the needs of the entire population, beyond the digital frontier, and these ventures will also be on the radar for the fund.

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