Investors oversubscribe Venture Platform’s $40m early-stage fund
Venture Platform has announced the final close of its early-stage and intercontinental fund at $46 million, surpassing its initial $40 million target.
The oversubscribed fund sees new participation from global investors cutting across commercial banks, corporates, DFIs, global institutional investors, and High Net-worth Individuals (HNIs). These include Standard Bank; International Finance Corporation (IFC); British International Investment; A to Z Impact; Proparco with FISEA; AfricaGrow a fund of funds backed by BMZ (German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, DEG and Allianz, managed by Allianz Global Investors), and others.
Venture Platforms says it will double down on backing a cohort of category-leading companies across the continent and will also allow for follow-on investments for portfolio companies, up to Series A. The company is also establishing an innovative ‘platform and networks’ practice that will provide scalable and world-class post-investment support and value creation to its portfolio companies.
“This is a crowning close to an eventful year in which we made substantial advancements both in the tactical and the proprietary interventions that catalyse our portfolio companies,” said Kola Aina, founder, and General Partner at Ventures Platform. “Dotun’s hands-on pan-African experience, from working with both startups and institutional investors, brings an invaluable perspective that will help with our continued growth.”
As part of the investment, Venture Platform will be adding Dotun Olowoporoku, former principal at pan-African VC firm, Novastar Ventures, as a managing partner. He is expected to bring expertise and new opportunities across areas such as investor relations, corporate governance, international expansion, M&A, and growth marketing to the Venture Platform fold. Prior to joining Ventures Platform, Olowoporoku played key roles as a consultant or board observer in Flutterwave, Turaco, TeamApt, among others. Until recently, he was the chief commercial officer at TeamApt.
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“We recognize the tougher macroeconomic climate at present, and whilst we remain cautious in terms of market dynamics and remain grounded in our long-standing belief in proper due diligence and corporate governance, we are also acutely aware that with our investment thesis, which is centered on market-creating innovations that thrive when value-chains and markets are restructured, there continues to be incredible opportunities across the market,” Aina said.
Ventures Platform also announced the appointment of Desigan Chinniah,as a Venture Partner to further enhance its expert network as it brings onboard renowned technologist and investor. Having spent his career as a venture capitalist, serving in leadership and advisory roles across a blue-ribbon range of companies, Chinniah will harness his expertise in product innovation, sales intelligence and developer relations to support Ventures Platform portfolio companies.
Since its launch in 2016, Ventures Platform has leveraged its on-the-ground presence on the continent and expertise in corporate partnerships, talent, growth, regulation and operations to strengthen the venture capital ecosystem in Africa, acting as a key partner and conduit for international funds and stakeholders. The pan-African VC firm has over 60 active investments, including Nomba (formerly Kudi), Reliance HMO, Brass, MarketForce, Mono and Piggyvest to add to the successful exit of Paystack (acquired by Stripe). Whilst focussing on funding market-creating innovations that optimise for non-consumption, Ventures Platform has accrued one of the largest technology start-up portfolios on the continent. Investing from pre-seed stage up to Series A, the fund invests in startups across multiple sectors, ranging from Fintech, Insurtech, Life Science and Health Tech, Edtech and Digital talent accelerators, Enterprise SaaS, Digital Infrastructure Plays, Agritech and Food Security.
“IFC is the largest global development institution focused on boosting private sector investments in emerging markets. Championing tech innovation, digital talent, and connectivity are key to succeeding in our mission. We are also one of the largest tech investors in Africa. Like Ventures Platform, we believe that the power of technology, combined with the scale and reach of entrepreneurship, can help solve some of the most pressing challenges of our time. We are delighted to partner with Ventures Platform to help emerging, talented entrepreneurs scale their innovations across the continent and beyond,” William Sonneborn, IFC’s Global Director of Disruptive Technologies and Funds, said: