Technology is indeed the new goldmine worth billions of dollars and invariable redefining our existence – how we view life, live, interact and transact.
Everyone is bracing up for the wave of technology, and Africa is not left out. In recent times, it has become very tough to skim Africa from the skim of events as it relates to Technological invasion, expansion, and penetration. Over time, Africa has proven to be a key player in the development and integration of technology in varying sectors.
Venture capital numbers recorded between 2021 and 2022 reveals that African startups have raised slightly over $5 billion, a figure many considered would have been significantly surpassed at the start of 2022; however, counting down to the end of the year, the figure a[ppears to be only maintained or just slightly topped.
Ventures Platform is a Pan-African early-stage venture capital firm founded by one of Nigeria’s Kola Aina six years ago and has since 2016 made 69 investments. Ventures. Ventures Platform sees itself as a thesis-centered fund. The fund’s thesis is centered around funding market-creating innovations that solve non-consumption and create innovative new ways to deliver goods, 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.
“For us, it was strategic, getting local capital for our first close. But the second close, as you will see, will be from a global fund of funds and DFIs where we’ve got commitments,” he said in the December interview. “Still, ultimately, as much as foreign capital is critical, I think it’s in the interest of foreign capital to be in bed with local capital from a derisking standpoint.” -Aina
Not only did Ventures Platform surpass its initial target, but it also came up with the goods regarding its next set of limited partners. Standard Bank, Africa’s largest bank by assets, is one of the fund’s newest LPs, and so are four development finance institutions (DFIs): the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the British International Investment (BII), Proparco with FISEA and AfricaGrow, a fund of funds managed by Allianz Global Investors. Other limited partners include social impact firm A to Z Impact, corporates, commercial banks, global institutional investors, and high net-worth individuals (HNIs).
Ventures Platform Funding
The Abuja- and Lagos-based Ventures Platform recently announced the first close of its $40 million pan-African fund.
The close of this fund comes at a time when the investment flow in Africa has declined as a result of the local and international venture capitalists retreating amid rising interest rates and reversal in public markets globally. This turn of events is evident in venture capital numbers recorded in both years.
The firm said it will use this fund to deepen its activity in other countries outside Nigeria — Kenya’s MarketForce and Tambua Health, Zambia’s Union54, and Egypt’s MoneyHash to name a few. The firm plans to invest more in these regions and Francophone Africa.
Ventures Platform has also made a series of strategic team additions at the partnership and senior management levels. First, Damilola Teidi, the former director of startup support at incubation hub CcHUB, heads the firm’s Platform and Networks team, and Desigan Chinniah, an early engineer at eBay and well-known investor who has backed some African startups, joins the firm as a venture partner.
Dotun Olowoporoku joins as its managing partner. Olowoporoku is on a small list of tech professionals who have performed founder, investor, and operator roles on the continent. He launched an on-demand food delivery platform in the U.K. a decade ago, ran Starta, an advisory firm for upstarts and scale-ups on the continent, worked as a principal at Pan-African fund Novastar Ventures, and most recently, was the chief commercial officer (CCO) at QED-backed TeamApt.
Only a few venture capital firms in the Nigerian and African tech ecosystem can boast similar YC stats with the Ventures Platform. For startups, being part of these firms’ portfolios represents a marker of success, but some VC critics believe these sorts of numbers are assured for firms that employ “spray and pray” tactics.