As we approach the end of the year, the number of African venture capital firms raising funds continues to rise. In the most recent development, Ventures Platform, based in Abuja and Lagos, has announced the first closing of its $40 million pan-African fund.
Ventures Platform is an African early-stage investment fund that helps innovate firms to solve problems in Africa.
The participating limited partners are based in Nigeria and Africa, demonstrating the growing importance of local investors’ in supporting the region’s most innovative businesses.
The new fund, led by the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA), includes existing and new investors from Africa’s corporate and tech ecosystems, including UAC Nigeria, VFD Group, Gbenga Oyebode, Shola Akinlade- Paystack, and global investors such as Micheal Seibel- Y Combinator and Adam Draper.
A second closing of the fund is planned for early 2022, with participation from a limited group of global institutional investors and development finance institutions.
Since its inception in 2016, Ventures Platform has served as a major partner and conduit for international investors and stakeholders looking to do business in Africa with a dependable and experienced partner.
With its on-the-ground presence on the continent and experience in corporate partnerships, talent, growth, regulation, and operations, 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.
Ventures Platform has also onboarded notable leaders in African tech as Venture Partners, including Seni Sulyman, as part of a move to further extend its expertise- ex-VP at Andela, ex-COO at Bellhop, founder at Black Ops.
Kola Aina, Founder and General Partner at Ventures Platform, says, “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 maximising our deep expertise navigating the nuances of the African market, and as we move ahead, we’re developing a global network of 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”.
More about Ventures Platform
Kola Aina Ventures, one of Nigeria’s most active early-stage investors, has made 69 investments since its inception.
Paystack, PiggyVest, Thrive Agric, Printivo, Accounteer, ThankU Cash, Reliance HMO, Kudi, Trove Finance, and Seamless HR are among the major firms that have received money from the Ventures Platform Fund.
Y Combinator has helped 30% of the firm’s 69 businesses. While having YC as a partner helped the company succeed, Aina believes his firm has a knack for spotting exceptional businesses.
Ventures Platform was one of the local investors who gained from Paystack’s $200 million+ departure to Stripe. Aina believes that now is the appropriate time for the company to “go to the market and raise its first institutional fund” after a couple of more secondary exits.
Ventures Platform concentrates on pre-seed and seed investments, with an average check size of $50,000, but with this new capital, it will also be able to participate in Series A deals. Over the course of a company’s life cycle, it will now be able to write checks for more than $1 million, including follow-on rounds.
Outside of Nigeria, the Abuja-based venture capital firm is concentrating on MarketForce and Tambua Health in Kenya, Union54 in Zambia, and MoneyHash in Egypt. It plans to spend more in these areas, as well as Francophone Africa.
Ventures Platform stated that it will bring on board well-known personalities in African tech as venture partners as part of a push to widen its expertise. For the time being, Seni Sulyman, the former vice president of global operations at Andela and the CEO of BlackOps, an African talent marketplace for venture builders and operators, is the first and only revealed partner.