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Seedstars announces $30 million fund to invest in 100 startups in emerging markets


Seedstars has announced plans to invest in 100 more startups through its second emerging market seed-stage fund, called Seedstars International Ventures II (SIV). 

Seedstars, in a press release, shared on Monday announced the first close of the fund with $20 million committed by notable investors including the International Finance Corporation (IFC), Visa Foundation, The Rockefeller Foundation, and Symbiotics.

Since 2013, Seedstars has supported over 90 emerging market venture ecosystems, seeing firsthand how the founder talent pool has matured with 2,070 VC-backed startups in 2021 in their core markets versus just over 560 in 2017.

Seedstars says it will leverage this progress and invest in the 100 pre-seed and seed stage companies across Asia, Africa, MENA, and LATAM in the next 3 years. Investments will be focused on companies building for the future of finance, commerce, health, work and education, with follow-on investments up to Series A.

The predecessor fund invested in 81 companies in over 30 countries, with category-leading investments in all regions including Dastgyr (Pakistan, backers include Veon and SOSV), Foodics (MENA, backers include Sequoia and Prosus), MyRobin (Indonesia, backers include Accion Venture Lab and Antler), OlaClick (LATAM, backers include Meta and Google/Gradient) and Omnibiz (Nigeria, backers include Musha Ventures and LoftyInc Capital), among others.

“I have no doubt about the abundance of talented founders or the market opportunities, but the challenges can’t be ignored. Our strategy innovates on so many levels to mitigate risk, be it through our country diversification, portfolio construction strategy, value creation platform, or the blended finance structure. We have a unique recipe, an incredible team, and backers in place to build on the success of the first fund and level the playing field for tech entrepreneurs around the world.” Charlie Graham-Brown, Seedstars Partner, said.

Seedstars’ focus on supporting scalable technology companies in emerging markets, solving major societal challenges like access to finance, health, or education, and working closely with entrepreneurs to scale their businesses means that the impact thesis is embedded in the investment thesis. The fund also includes a blended finance component with a first-loss tranche that provides downside protection for investments in the lowest-income markets.

Seedstars Partner Patricia Sosrodjojo said, “Investing and impact don’t have to be mutually exclusive. Our strategy combines these two critical objectives in one and we believe that is what both founders and investors are searching for.”

Seedstars is also set to formally debut Seedstars Capital, a fund platform for multiple regional and thematic funds. The platform’s first strategies include Seedstars International Ventures and Seedstars Africa Ventures with more funds set to be announced in the coming months.

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Nixon Kanali

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

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