A pan-African early-stage venture capital firm called Ventures Platform today announced the final closing of its international fund, which totaled $46 million.
A number of top-tier commercial banks, corporations, DFIs, global institutional investors, and HNIs have joined the oversubscribed fund from one of the most active investors on the continent, surpassing its initial $40 million target. These investors include Standard Bank, the International Finance Corporation [IFC], British International Investment, A to Z Impact, Proparco with FISEA, and AfricaGrow, a Fund of Funds supported by the BMZ [German Ministry for Economic Cooperation].
With the help of the new fund, Ventures Platform will increase its commitment to supporting a group of continent-wide, category-leading businesses and enable follow-on investments for portfolio firms up to Series A. Ventures Platform has also created a cutting-edge “platform and networks” approach that will offer its portfolio firms scalable, top-notch post-investment support and value generation in an effort to better support the businesses it invests in.
The early-stage “discovery” venture capital fund has invested new money and follow-on capital into businesses spanning numerous industries and areas on the continent since the fund’s initial close in late last year, including Remedial Health, MoniNotto, and Chargel. Ventures Platform is aggressively looking for opportunities in places like Kenya, Egypt, and French-speaking West Africa in order to further strengthen its pan-African reach.
Ventures Platform has added a number of key team members at the partnership and senior management levels in addition to the fund’s closing. Dr. Dotun Olowoporoku, a successful businessperson, investor, and former Principal of the pan-African venture capital firm Novastar Ventures, has joined the VC firm as a Managing Partner. With Dotun joining the alliance, the Venture Platform now has Dotun’s expertise and fresh potential in fields including growth marketing, M&A, corporate governance, international expansion, and investor relations. Dotun Olowoporoku had had significant positions as a consultant or board observer in a number of companies before joining Ventures Platform, including Flutterwave, Turaco, and TeamApt. He most recently served as TeamApt’s Chief Commercial Officer.
As it welcomes famous engineer and investor, Desigan Chinniah, as a Venture Partner, Ventures Platform has also added another important new member to further strengthen its expert network. In order to support the portfolio companies of Ventures Platform, Chinniah will draw on his experience in product innovation, sales intelligence, and developer relations. Chinniah has spent his entire career as a venture capitalist, serving in leadership and advisory roles across a distinguished range of companies.
Since its founding in 2016, Ventures Platform has acted as a key partner and conduit for foreign funds and stakeholders, leveraging its physical presence on the continent and expertise in corporate partnerships, talent, growth, regulation, and operations to strengthen the venture capital ecosystem in Africa.
The venture capital business has approximately 60 current investments, including Paystack’s successful exit as well as Nomba (previously Kudi), Reliance HMO, Brass, MarketForce, Mono, and Piggyvest (acquired by Stripe). Ventures Platform, which focuses on supporting market-creating ideas that are optimized for non-consumption, has amassed one of the largest portfolios of technological start-ups on the continent. The fund makes investments in companies in a variety of industries, including Agritech and Food Security, Enterprise SaaS, Life Science and Health Tech, Edtech and Digital Talent Accelerators, and Insurtech, Fintech, and Insurtech
We are honored to have the diversity of both local and international investors who have bought into our vision and who are equally adding enormous value to our portfolio,” the statement continued. This marks the culmination of a fruitful year in which we made important strides in both the tactical and proprietary initiatives that fuel our portfolio companies. Dotun’s practical pan-African expertise gained from dealing with both start-ups and institutional investors offers a priceless viewpoint that will aid in our continued growth. We’re excited to support our portfolio firms in realizing their full potential while also strengthening our position as a significant and dependable partner for investors in Africa. According to Kola Aina, the founder and general partner of Ventures Platform
We are aware of the current more challenging macroeconomic environment, and even though we continue to be cautious about market dynamics and steadfast in our long-held belief in proper due diligence and corporate governance, we are also keenly aware that with our investment thesis, which is focused on market-creating innovations that thrive when value-chains and markets are restructured, there continue to be incredible opportunities across the market. As it’s been said, a true test is not how one handles moments of comfort and convenience but rather moments of adversity, and so we are glad to be partnering with often highly experienced, mission-driven founders who are positively impacting the livelihoods of their local communities even in these trying times. Ventures Platform’s portfolio firms have to-date gone on to raise more than $1b in follow-on funding.