Flourish Ventures, a global fintech venture capital firm, has opened a new office in Kenya to support fintech startups across Africa.
The office, the Silicon Valley-based VC firm says will help its investment team better serve entrepreneurs across the continent who are building innovations that help advance financial health and economic resilience for people and small businesses.
With deep fintech industry and country-specific expertise, Flourish is focused on building its investment in Africa and adding to its growing portfolio of a dozen startups located in Nigeria, Ghana, Egypt and Kenya that includes Apollo Agriculture, Fair Money, Financial Services Innovators (FSI), Flutterwave, Lendable, Pula and Paga.
Flourish recently hired Efayomi Carr as Principal, who will manage the company’s operations in Nairobi. Carr is an experienced entrepreneur who previously served as Head of Strategic Finance for Lori, a tech startup that builds cost-saving market infrastructure for the trucking sector in Africa. He joins the firm’s Africa investment team that includes Managing Partner Arjuna Costa and Venture Partner Ameya Upadhyay.
“We believe Africa is on the cutting edge in the development of innovative and groundbreaking fintech solutions with global relevance, and we are delighted that our Nairobi office will give us greater access across the continent,” said Costa. “Efayomi has a strong network in Africa and will work closely with partners and entrepreneurs to nurture the creative solutions that will enhance the financial wellbeing of households and small businesses across the continent.”
Carr also expressed his optimism in opening the office in Africa due to the strength of the continent’s fintech industry coming off of the back of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We are a deliberative and thesis-driven investor who want to help fintech entrepreneurs achieve real and broad impact across Africa,” said Carr. “I am excited to take part in the growth of our firm’s African presence and am optimistic that African fintech entrepreneurs will continue to deliver real results and make a positive financial impact for consumers and small businesses.”
This news will be a boon to African startups, who according to the Bitter Bridges Think Tank received total venture capital of $1.31 billion in 2020, up from $1.27 billion in 2019, despite the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The economic uncertainty created by the pandemic has inspired us to renew our focus on African entrepreneurs that are tackling key systemic issues in the financial services industry. We hope that our presence on the ground will enhance our ability to share learnings and best practices across our global portfolio, and accelerate the impact we hope to have on the continent,” said Costa.
In addition to financial support, Flourish provides its portfolio entrepreneurs with experts in finance and operations, human resources, legal, and marketing. The firm also hosts ongoing education and networking events and activities for its portfolio community.