African Business Angels Network (ABAN), a network of Angel Investors and AfriLabs, pan-African network of technology and innovation centers, have together launched Catalyst, an initiative to support the African start-up ecosystem and deliver real, measurable impact to stakeholders. Catalyst is a cross-stakeholder initiative that aims to increase the pool of capital available to promising African growth-stage entrepreneurs, as well as support the startup ecosystem including hubs and angel network. At the same time Catalyst wants to increase the visibility of impact to institutional funders.
Catalyst operates as a co-investment fund that will match investments from qualifying angel investors into African growth-stage companies. Funds from Catalyst will be released after startups have received investments from Angel investors that are part of an angel network registered with ABAN. To be eligible, startups are required to register on the Catalyst platform through hubs that are members of the AfriLabs network. Performance of participating startups after receiving investments will be reported and monitored via the Catalyst platform.
Catalyst is raising funds from various institutional partners to add to a pool. This pool serves as a matching fund to encourage investment in viable startups by verified angel investors. The first Catalyst co-investment fund will be available towards the end of 2019 with a funding partner which will be announced soon. Conversations with additional partners are ongoing.
Tomi Davies – President of ABAN: “When we signed the MOU with AfriLabs at their Annual Gathering in Dar es Salam in 2018, we were excited about the opportunity for partnership between Angels and Hubs on the continent. Catalyst will facilitate the development of those relationships as the first initiative of what we expect to be a highly valuable and long lasting collaboration between AfriLabs and ABAN.”
Rebecca Enochong – Board Chair of AfriLabs: ‘‘We have all recognized the need to increase early stage funding for our African founders. Catalyst not only does that, but it helps to structure the ecosystem, supports collaboration, and provides actionable insights into the early stage funding landscape, all the while strengthening our hubs and our angel networks. As the first Pan African program of this type, developed by Africans, for Africans, I believe that Catalyst will be a real game changer’’.