Nigeria-based Ventures Platform has announced the first close of its $40 million pan-African fund to invest in market-creating innovations across Africa.
Launched in 2016 by Nigeria’s most active early-stage investors, Kola Aina, Ventures Platform has acted as a key partner and conduit for international funds and stakeholders seeking a reliable and experienced partner to do business in Africa.
This close was led by the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) and features participation from existing investors and some new leading names across Africa’s corporate and tech ecosystems, including UAC Nigeria, VFD Group, Gbenga Oyebode, Shola Akinlade (Paystack), and global investors like; Michael Seibel (Y Combinator) and Adam Draper. A second close of the fund is due to take place in early 2022 and will feature investment from select global Institutional Investors and DFI’s.
“Over the last six years, we’ve backed close to 70 of Africa’s most compelling tech companies, building a robust portfolio which has featured one of the largest exits our sector witnessed to date through Paystack last year. As the incredible momentum in African tech continues to build, it’s attracting unprecedented attention globally amongst traditional and institutional investors, and we’re delighted to welcome aboard some world-class, strategic stakeholders to our fund.” Kola Aina, Founder and General Partner at Ventures Platform, said.
Building upon its stellar reputation as one of the most active early-stage investors in African tech, Ventures Platform says it will significantly deepen its long-standing presence in Nigeria and West Africa while also investing in select opportunities in East, North & Francophone Africa – that have the potential to expand into West Africa’s key markets. The fund’s latest capital injection also firmly positions it to double down on existing investments in its category-leading portfolio via subsequent rounds.
With on the ground presence on the continent and its experience with corporate partnerships, talent, growth, regulation and operations – this new fund introduces the benefit of strong local LP participation and strengthens Ventures Platform’s ability to institutionalise its track record of collaborating with LPs and investors from North America, Europe and Asia, who need a reliable partner to work alongside when investing in the African technology space.
As part of a move to further deepen its expertise, Ventures Platform has also onboarded leading figures across African tech as Venture Partners, including; Seni Sulyman (ex-VP at Andela, ex-COO at Bellhop, Founder at Black Ops.)
“As operators ourselves, we know what it takes to build a successful business on the continent, and we’ve spent years partnering with visionary founders effectively tackling some of Africa’s hardest problems – now is the time to go even further. We’re fully maximising our deep expertise navigating the nuances of the African market, and as we move ahead, we’re developing a global network of LPs in more established markets like Europe, the USA and Asia, many of whom partner with us due to our track record of backing winners, and they appreciate our on-the-ground experience and access to opportunities, which is vital for generating returns.” Kola added.
With a ticket size up to $1m+ Ventures Platform is now positioned to fund follow-on rounds of successful startups building market-creating innovations across pre-seed, seed and Series A stages in sectors including Fintech, healthtech, enterprise SAAS, digital infrastructure and more. Amassing a total of 28 investments to date in 2021 alone, the platform’s portfolio of 69 startups is one of the most elite in African tech with high-profile names including Seamless HR, Piggy Vest, Mono and Paystack – which Stripe acquired in October 2020 for $200m+.
To date, Ventures Platform’s portfolio has raised over $500mn in follow-on rounds, and as the investor moves to consolidate its leading market position, this marks its first official institutional fund with previous capital resulting from syndicate and proprietary capital funds.