Here’s 5 most active investors in African startups
Tech startups have raised more than $2.5 billion in venture capital funding so far in 2021. Apart from being a record haul, the continent has also seen more startups become unicorns – company with 1 $billion and above – in one calendar year in 2021.
While there has been remarkable growth in the number of first time investors on the continent, a few investors have played more active roles than others.
A list compiled by Max Cuvellier, head of Mobile for Development, GSMA and Maxime Bayen, Senior Venture Builder at BFA, showed that Launch Africa, Kepple Africa, Y Combinator, Flat6Labs, and LoftyInc Capital Management, are the five most active investors this year.
Founded in 2019, Launch Africa is a Mauritius-based pan-African seed fund that invest specifically in business to business (B2B) and business to business to consumer (B2B2C) driven early-stage tech startups with a strong, experienced management team solving some of the most meaning problems in Africa while creating a sustainable ecosystem.
Launch Africa has completed 44 investment deals making it the top investor by number of deals. Startups that have secured funding from Launch Africa include Kashat (Egypt), Chekkit (Nigeria), Omnibiz (Nigeria), MarketForce (Kenya), Strove (South Africa) and many others.
Kepple Africa was founded in 2018 by Japanese nationals Ryosuke Yamawaki and Takahiro Kanzaki as an early-stage venture capital firm. The company has a history of betting on African startups.
Kepple Africa emerged the most active VC in 2020 after investing in 36 African tech startups. In 2021, the VC has so far made a total of 31 deals making the second largest investor in 2021. Seven of the VC’s investments in 2021 are from Nigeria, including startups such as TeamApt, Buycoins, Bitnob, Sendbox, Moove Africa, ATHLST, and Sudo.
Kepple’s investments are usually within the range of $50,000 and $150,000.
Y Combinator is arguably the most popular tech accelerator in the world. Launched in March 2005, the Silicon Valley-based seed money accelerator organises a three-month-long accelerator programme twice every year for early-stage ventures around the globe. It also hosts a demo day, along with several investors from across the world, to invest in these ventures. Besides the financial aid and fine-tuning the startup’s pitch deck, it also supports and mentors them to deal with investors and acquirers.
Many African startups have benefited from the program. The Nigerian companies that have raised funding from the accelerator include Flutterwave, Paystack, Kobo360, Kudi Bank, Cowrywise, CredPal, Tizeti, 54Gene, Releaf, among others.
Y Combinator has completed 27 deals so far in 2021. For the Summer batch of the program, Africa has 15 startups for the first time compared with 10 selected in the winter batch which took place from January to March 2021.
LoftyInc Capital Management
Founded in 2017 by Idris Ayodeji Bello, Marsha Wulff, Michael Oluwagbemi, LoftyInc Capital Management is an early-stage African-focused technology fund.
LoftyInc has been active with 23 deals already this year.
The company recently announced that it is launching its third fund — LoftyInc Afropreneurs Fund 3 — at $10 million for tech startups in Africa with substantial participation from African HNIs and Millenials, startup founders, and institutions.
Flat6Labs was founded on 1 June 2011 by Ahmed El-Alfi and Hany Al-Sonbaty as a seed and early-stage venture capital firm that primarily invests in tech-driven startups. The Cairo-based VC also directly supports startups through an expansive network of partner entities, mentors, and investors.
Flat6Labs has completed 19 deals this year.
The five companies have been involved in 1 in 3 early-stage deals ($100,000 to $1 million) on the continent (97 out of 295). In total, they have already invested in 127 deals in 2021.
The investors have been most active in Nigeria (41 deals), Egypt (30), Kenya (15), and South Africa (15). In total, they have invested in startups in 14 different countries.
“The only country they have all invested in at least a deal is Egypt; actually they have all invested in at least 4 deals in the country,” Max Cuvellier wrote in a post.