Savannah Fund launches $25m Africa tech seed fund led by the IFC, WeFi


A couple of funding alternatives are opening up for African startups from assorted sources, essentially the latest being from Savannah Fund. 

The mission capital firm has raised $25 million to make investments in early-stage startups across sub-Saharan Africa, with a highlight on “supporting ladies entrepreneurs and disruptive companies in excessive-improve sectors.” 

This $25 million fund is the firm’s second terminate and has been aptly named “Savannah Fund II”. Investment into the brand new fund change into led by the World Finance Company (IFC) and the Ladies folk’s Finance Initiative (WeFi). 

Savannah will make investments in Kenyan, Nigerian and South African startups that are at the seed to Series A stage. They define the three countries as their “core markets” but notion to prolong their portfolio to embrace startups in Rwanda, Ethiopia, Uganda, Ivory Stoop and Ghana.

In every nation, Savannah’s focal point spans a pair of sectors together with fintech, training, logistics, e-commerce, software-as-a-carrier and healthtech startups. Agrictech, a sector that has been hot currently, is moreover on their radar. 

Basically based by Mbwana Ailly and Paul Bragiel, Savannah Fund launched funding activities in Africa in 2012 with an accelerator program in Kenya. They transitioned fully to making seed and series A investments in 2016 and fetch invested in 31 companies across 7 African countries since.

About a of those companies embrace Aerobotics from South Africa, IoT startup Safigen and Moringa Faculty (both founded in Kenya) and Flex.membership, a mobility startup working in South Africa and Mexico. 

Extra currently, Savannah has invested in pre-seed rounds of Orbit Effectively being in Ethiopia and Ando Foods, a cloud kitchen firm in Kenya. The firm says their portfolio companies raised $118 million across Series A, B, and C, a tale for the firm to this point.

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Suitable to Left: Mbwana Ailly with Vineet N.R and Asif Khan, founders of Kenya-essentially essentially based mostly Ando Foods. Image credit score: Savannah Fund

Other backers of the fund embrace Tim Draper of Draper Buddies, Visa Forsten, co-founding father of Supercell (now allotment of Tencent) and UMA, a mission studio essentially essentially based mostly in Senegal. 

Bragiel stated one in every of Savannah’s motivations is to assist African companies that “fetch the aptitude to scale beyond the continent that could maybe prolong into Silicon Valley and emerging markets worship South East Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, and Latin The United States.”

Savannah has an Entrepreneur in House programme which prioritises the funding of female founders. Ailly, the firm’s managing partner, says their partnership with WeFi will “further prolong and wait on female founders on the continent.”

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Mbwana Ailly and Paul Bragiel, Savannah’s founding partners. Image credit score: Savannah Fund

To bolster Savannah’s funding technique, Ailly has tapped his connection to Stanford the put he did his MBA and teaches; Steve Ciesinski, a historical president of the Stanford Overview Institute, will be a part of Savannah’s Investment Committee. 

Ciesinski will be joined by Tommy Chia, a Hong-Kong essentially essentially based mostly investor who has invested in Paga and OneFinance out of his family location of enterprise. Erik Hersman, who founded iHub (now owned by Co-creation Hub), co-founded Kenyan civic-tech platform Ushahidi, and currently runs the on-line infrastructure firm BRCK, will change into a senior advisor at Savannah.

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