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Catalyst Fund marks its first close to back climate tech startups in Africa


The Catalyst Fund has reached the first close of its targeted $40 million fund to invest in climate tech startups in Africa. 

The fund has announced an initial 20% close of $8.6 million with the support of FSD Africa Investments (FSDAi), Cisco Foundation, USAID Prosper Africa and seasoned tech investor Andrew Bredenkamp.

The firm says this milestone signals its strong commitment to shaping a climate-resilient future through bolstering early-stage startups across the African continent.

The Catalyst Fund will support 40 pre-seed startups, with a focus on backing mission-driven local and women founders, offering essential early-stage capital and pairing it with hands-on, tailor-made venture building support to accelerate startups’ growth.

It will target startups in the agtech and fishery management, food systems, insurtech and climate fintech, cold chain, waste management, and water management.

The Fund’s commitment extends beyond the initial stage, as it pledges to provide follow-on capital to startups in their Seed and Series A rounds. By bridging this critical funding gap, the Catalyst Fund addresses a key bottleneck for climate ventures in Africa, positioning them for further growth-stage funding at Series B. 

“By blending equity investments with hands-on venture building, we believe we can unlock tremendous potential for innovative companies on the continent. Supporting ventures at the pre-seed stage requires more than capital,” said Maelis Carraro, Managing Partner of the Catalyst Fund.

”Our venture builders are the engineers, data scientists and growth marketing experts who can supercharge founders’ journeys toward building scalable and highly impactful ventures,” Maelis added.

With support from JPMorgan Chase & Co and the Global Environmental Facility, Catalyst Fund also works to provide dedicated impact measurement and research support to climate innovators, share insights and learnings, and enable partnerships via its Ecosystem Hub.

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Nixon Kanali

Tech journalist based in Nairobi. I track and report on tech and African startups. Founder and Editor of TechTrends Media. Nixon is also the East African tech editor for Africa Business Communities. Send tips to nkanali@techtrendske.co.ke.

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